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Poland offers third vaccine dose to people with weak immunity

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Warsaw, Poland – Poland will soon start offering third doses of the Covid vaccine to people with reduced immunity, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski announced.

Poland joins a growing number of countries across Europe that have decided to offer a third jab to its citizens, or at least selected groups of them, as growing data suggest the spread of the Delta variant reduces the efficiency of the vaccine’s protection.

The third doses would be made available to people with weaker immune systems from September 1, the Health Minister said following the greenlight of the country’s Medical Council.

“When it comes to the timing of giving the third dose, it has been set at no earlier than 28 days after the end of the basic vaccination cycle,” M. Niedzielski advised. “I remind you that we are dealing here with people who have reduced immunity, so when immunity appears it is maintained for a very short time.”

The US, Israel, France and Germany are among those that have already agreed to offer a third jab to elderly citizens or those with weaker immunity.

Hungary, where many people were vaccinated with the less efficient Chinese-made vaccine, for its part decided to make the third booster jab available to anyone who requests it.

As most of its Central and Eastern European neighbours, Poland is still experiencing low infection rates (around 200 new cases per day) compared to the western half of the continent. But the rise of the Delta mutation, on top of lower-than-average vaccination rates, have governments and public health experts worried that a fourth wave could hit hard in the coming months.

Approximately 50% of Poland’s population of 37 million has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Polish government said it was waiting for the European Medicines Agency’s recommendation on whether or not the third dose should be made available for the entire population.