Poland orders 45 mln COVID-19 vaccines, to be available in February

Paweł Supernak/PAP

Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, said that Poland had signed contracts for 45 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, which would be made available free of charge on a voluntary basis from February 2021.

"Poland has signed appropriate contracts and has already placed orders for 45 million doses with companies such as Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson," Morawiecki told a press conference on Wednesday.

He said that the government was ready to sign further agreements and was "waiting only for a signal from the European Commission." He also stated that a vaccination logistics system was currently being organised, and that the vaccines will be free, voluntary and available in two doses.

The first supplies are expected to arrive in Poland in late January or early February, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said on Wednesday.

He said that, in his opinion, the most realistic date of the deliveries is "at the turn of January and February."

Niedzielski also said that health service professionals will be the first to be vaccinated, followed by senior citizens who are over the age of 75.

As the first group numbers around half a million and the second roughly two to three million, this is "a huge logistics undertaking that will take a month or two to organise from the moment we get the vaccines," he added.

Morawiecki said senior citizens over 65 constituted a group of about 6.5 million people and that they would be given priority.

He added that the vaccination process would start with online registration, although traditional methods would also be available for those who preferred them. The second phase of the process is registration for the vaccination, with the vaccination, itself, being point three in the process. The fourth element will be a second dose 21 days after the first.

Morawiecki said the logistical operation of rolling out the vaccine would be handled by selected ministries and the Material Reserves Agency.

The prime minister stated the vaccine represented not only a return to normal life but will also provide rapid help for sectors such as hospitality and tourism. "They will be able to return to normal faster once more people get vaccinated quickly," he said.