Poland orders a further 25 mln Covid-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer

Wojtek Jargiło/PAP

Poland has ordered a further 25 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in addition to orders already placed with the US firm.

Adam Niedzielski said that 10 million doses from the new consignment would reach Poland in the first half of the year and the remaining 15 million in the second half.

"In the course of 2021 we have declared a willingness to buy an additional 25 million doses of the vaccine," he said. "Beyond the standard contract with Pfizer," he continued, adding that the further doses had been ordered within the European mechanism for vaccine purchasing.

The new order put the total contracted from Pfizer to 80 million doses, Niedzielski said, enough for 40 million people, which is more than the population of Poland, "and after all we're only vaccinating adults," the minister pointed out.

The news of the new order came as Poland wrestles with a temporary reduction in the supply of vaccine doses.

Instead of the 360,000 doses originally planned to arrive on Monday, only 176,000 were delivered, due to plans by producers Pfizer and BioNTech to increase production capacity, resulting in temporary shortfalls in deliveries.

A return to the planned delivery schedule is expected on January 25 and from mid-February deliveries will be increased.

The health minister said that the reduced deliveries were a temporary situation, and that a schedule made available to the ministry by Pfizer on Wednesday showed that the reduction would only affect this week and the shortfall would be made up in February, when up to 400,000 doses are expected in the course of two weeks.