Poland to start COVID-19 vaccinations as confirmed cases top 1 mln
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Wednesday that Poland had signed contracts with various developers for the delivery of 45 million vaccine doses. Meanwhile, the country's total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has topped one million, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
Poland's Health Ministry reported 13,855 new cases on Wednesday. To date, 18,208 people have died of coronavirus in the country.
According to Morawiecki, the total cost of the first dose of the vaccine will range between 5 billion and 10 billion Polish zloty (1.35 billion and 2.7 billion U.S. dollars. He said the vaccines will come from Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
The Polish government has decided against making the vaccines mandatory. "The vaccines will be free of charge, voluntary and will require two doses," Morawiecki said.
The first group of people -- between 10 million and 15 million in the country of 38 million inhabitants -- will probably be vaccinated in January and February, with priority given to medical personnel and senior citizens.
As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, countries including France, Germany, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States are racing to find a vaccine.
According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of Nov. 26, there were 213 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 49 of them were in clinical trials.