Providing access to Covid-19 vaccine is state's duty - president's aide

Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

It is the state's responsibility to ensure that Poles have access to a coronavirus vaccine, Polish President Andrzej Duda top aide Krzysztof Szczerski said on Tuesday commenting on Duda's earlier statement.

After failing to agree to take part in a joint debate with his contender, Rafal Trzaskowski, ahead of this Sunday's presidential vote, incumbent Duda, seeking re-election for a second term, answered questions on his policies in a separate event on Monday organised by state broadcaster TVP in the central town of Konskie.

During the event Duda said the state has a duty to ensure that Poles have access to a coronavirus vaccine, but the vaccination should not be compulsory.

"I believe that coronavirus vaccinations should absolutely not be mandatory," he said. "I am absolutely not in favour of any compulsory vaccinations. (...) I have never had a flu vaccine myself," he added.

Later on Twitter, the president reiterated that a possible Covid-19 vaccination should not be made mandatory, just as flu vaccination is not. He added, however, that the matter "is completely different" in the case of other diseases such as polio, tuberculosis and scarlet fever.

Commenting on the president's statement during public TV event, Szczerski told Polsat News broadcaster on Tuesday that it concerned only a vaccine for coronavirus. "This vaccine will be available to Poles, I hope as soon as possible, but it will not be obligatory," Szczerski said.