sunny.png
Saturday December 5th, 2020 1:13PM

Poland seeks more flu vaccines amid shortage during pandemic

By The Associated Press

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Polish government is trying to secure more flu vaccines from international producers amid a national shortage fueled by higher demand during the coronavirus pandemic, Poland's health minister said Tuesday.

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said Poland generally has very low flu vaccinations rates and is seeing a vaccine shortage now because orders for this fall and winter were based on last year's demand. He told Radio Zet that his ministry met Monday with key vaccine suppliers to explore the possibility of getting more vaccine shipments.

During the last flu season, only about 1.5 million people, or 4% of Poland's population of 38 million people, were vaccinated for the flu, he said. Some 100,000 vaccines went used.

The low flu vaccination rates in Poland are the result of wide distrust in pharmaceutical companies and in vaccinations.

During the swine flu outbreak 10 years ago, Poland was the only country worldwide to reject the vaccines over safety fears and distrust in drug companies. When that outbreak proved not as deadly as some initially feared, many Poles felt their government was vindicated.

But fears of COVID-19 have created an unprecedented demand for flu vaccines. The Gazeta Wyborcza daily reported Tuesday that pharmacies across Poland are unable to meet demand and have created waiting lists for future deliveries.

Tomasz Leleno, spokesman for the Polish Pharmacological Chamber, said he expects the situation to improve with new deliveries in late September and early October.

Health experts are stressing that the seasonal flu vaccine is especially important this year because reducing the number of flu cases helps preserve medical resources for treating COVID-19 patients.

“Both are respiratory illnesses and it's likely that they would put a strain on the same parts of the health care system at the same time,” the health minister of Poland's western neighbor, Germany, said Tuesday.

Jens Spahn said Germany has ordered 26 million doses of vaccine for this flu season, a significant increase compared to the 18-19 million doses the country normally buys.

“If we manage, together, to get the flu vaccination rate so high that all 26 million doses are actually used then I’d be a very happy health minister,” he said.

___

Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report.

___

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Health, AP World News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Asia Today: India adds over 83,000 cases, nears 5 million
India confirmed more than 83,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing its total caseload to nearly 5 million
6:19AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Trump to preside over historic Arab-Israel recognition deals
President Donald Trump is set to preside over the signing of historic diplomatic deals between Israel and two Gulf Arab nations that could herald a dramatic shift in Middle East power dynamics
6:19AM ( 29 minutes ago )
The Latest: 1.8M tested in massive Hong Kong testing program
Nearly 1.8 million Hong Kong residents took voluntary coronavirus tests as part of a massive community testing program, resulting in 42 cases being identified
6:15AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Australian state to relax pandemic measures
Australia’s virus hot spot Victoria state says it will relax pandemic restrictions in most areas from Wednesday night
3:48AM ( 3 hours ago )
What are the different types of coronavirus tests?
Tests for the coronavirus in the U.S. fall into three broad categories
3:04AM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: India reports lowest coronavirus jump in a week
India has reported its lowest daily jump in new coronavirus infections in a week, logging another 83,809 infections in the past 24 hours
1:09AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Health
Asia Today: India adds over 83,000 cases, nears 5 million
India confirmed more than 83,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing its total caseload to nearly 5 million
6:19AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Trump to preside over historic Arab-Israel recognition deals
President Donald Trump is set to preside over the signing of historic diplomatic deals between Israel and two Gulf Arab nations that could herald a dramatic shift in Middle East power dynamics
6:19AM ( 29 minutes ago )
The Latest: 1.8M tested in massive Hong Kong testing program
Nearly 1.8 million Hong Kong residents took voluntary coronavirus tests as part of a massive community testing program, resulting in 42 cases being identified
6:15AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Mali junta faces deadline for naming civilian leader
Mali’s military rulers are facing a regional deadline for naming a civilian interim leader
6:10AM ( 38 minutes ago )
The Latest: England hospitals warn of virus test shortages
The group that represents hospitals in England says a shortage of COVID-19 testing is jeopardizing efforts to restore medical services and prepare for a potential surge in coronavirus cases this winter
6:02AM ( 46 minutes ago )