Gov't spokesman warns of potential lockdown if vaccinations are slow

Łukasz Gągulski/PAP

Poland may face another partial lockdown in the autumn if most of the society is not vaccinated against Covid-19, Piotr Mueller, the government spokesman, has warned.

So far, just over 15.5 million people in the 38-million nation have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, which is a risk considering new variants of the virus spreading across the world.

Mueller said on the public television TVP1 on Thursday that "we should be honest and say that if a certain number of people do not get vaccinated, we're facing a partial lockdown in the autumn and we're are facing inefficiency of a part of the health service."

Poland now has a considerable surplus of vaccines and is considering re-selling them to other countries that need them badly, Mueller also said.

Also on Friday, Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska said that the proportion of the more infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus in tested samples has increased to 27 percent from 8 percent in mid-June.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention predicts that the Delta will be responsible for up to 90 percent infections in Europe by the end of August.

Speaking to the Polish public Radio One, Kraska said that the fourth wave of the pandemic is inevitable, but added that "it will not be the same scale as in the third wave."

Poland suffered daily infection rates exceeding 30,000 and daily death rates higher than 500 in the peak of the third wave of the pandemic this spring.