PM: More people in Poland willing to take AstraZeneca shot
Poland is seeing an increase in people willing to take AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, the prime minister said on Monday, after reports that as many as 70% in some places had been unwilling to get the shot due to safety concerns. His aide Michał Dworczyk reassured later that day the vaccine was safe to use, and that the first stage of the vaccination programme should be complete in the second quarter of 2021.
After briefly halting its use, many European countries have resumed using the AstraZeneca shot after the EU regulator said it was safe. Poland did not suspend its use it at any stage, arguing that the benefits outweighed potential risks.
"In the morning I got a report... showing that there are more and more people willing to get vaccinated and also to get vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine," Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters.
"This shows that we made the right decision not to suspend vaccinations with AstraZeneca. There are definitely more people willing to be vaccinated with this vaccine."
Morawiecki's top aide, Michal Dworczyk, who heads the country's vaccination programme, said that on Saturday the number of people not showing up to get their shot had reached 70% at some vaccination points.
However, he said the numbers of people registering to be vaccinated this week had increased from a week ago.
"The registration level is much better than the registration which started on March 18... I hope this confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine comes back," he told a separate news conference.
"We'd like reassure that there's no need to worry. This vaccine poses no threat, it's been recommended by doctors and scientists" - Mr Dworczyk said about the AstraZeneca product.
He also said the first stage of the vaccination programme should be complete in the second quarter of 2021. "We also hope that, in the second quarter, things will largely speed up and so we will be able to move to mass population vaccination stage".
Poland is grappling with spiralling infection rates amid a third wave driven by a highly contagious variant of the coronavirus first discovered in Britain.
The country reported 14,578 new coronavirus infections and 65 deaths on Monday, as well as the record number of beds and ventilators occupied by COVID patients.
Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said on Monday the numbers of daily cases would continue to grow for two to three weeks.
In total, the country of 38 million has reported 2,073,129 cases of the coronavirus and 49,365 deaths.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters, PAP
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Leszek Szymański/PAP