WARSAW – Poland will give third doses of COVID-19 vaccine to people with weak immune systems, the health minister said on Friday, as the European Union’s biggest eastern member braces for a fourth wave that is already hitting its western neigbours.
At around 200 a day, Poland’s daily COVID-19 case numbers are a fraction of what they were during the third wave in spring. But with the highly contagious Delta variant already contributing to a rise in infections the country expects the situation to deteriorate in autumn.
“(The Medical Council) accepts the use of a third dose for people with reduced immunity and for now we will dedicate third doses to people who have reduced immunity,” Adam Niedzielski told a news conference.
He said that the third doses would be made available from Sept 1.
Poland, a nation of around 38 million people, has fully vaccinated 18.6 million people. However, the number of people coming forward to be vaccinated has decreased over the summer.
There is no consensus among scientists and international agencies that a third dose is necessary, but several countries including the United States, Israel, Germany and France have already opted to offer them to older adults and those with weak immune systems.