Poland To Donate 400,000 Doses Of AstraZeneca Vaccine To Taiwan
Poland will donate 400,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Taiwan “as a gesture of solidarity” to help boost the country’s vaccination program.
The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Saturday that the delivery is aimed at combating vaccine shortages in Taiwan and the risks posed by new coronavirus variants.
The initiative is a reciprocal move after Taiwan donated 1,000,000 face masks, 5,000 protective suits, and 20,000 surgical gowns to Poland during the first wave of the pandemic.
A statement from the Ministry said the donation is another example of Poland’s close cooperation with Taiwan. In May, the Polish Office in Taipei offered 1,500 protective suits to the Taipei City Hall. During the pandemic, Poland has helped Taiwanese students to get back home by organizing chartered flights.
Poland is the sixth country to donate vaccines to Taiwan, alongside Japan, the United States, Lithuania and Czech Republic. Slovakia recently confirmed it would also offer its share.
In August, Poland donated half a million of AstraZeneca vaccines and around $3.6 million worth of medical equipment to Vietnam. Alongside the donation, Poland resold a further 3 million doses to the country.
Earlier this year, Poland sold 1 million Pfizer vaccines to Australia, 2.4 million to Spain, and 0.6 million to Portugal, as well as 1 million doses of Moderna to Norway and 650,000 doses of AstraZeneca to Ukraine.
Poland’s vaccination drive has stalled in the recent weeks, leading the government to admit that there has been a “very concerning” decrease in interest.
In August, only 44% of the country’s population was fully vaccinated, and just over 50% had the first dose.
According to a survey by Eurofound, Poles are among the top ten most vaccine-skeptic EU countries, with almost 40% saying they are very unlikely or rather unlikely to get the jab.
To combat vaccine skepticism, the government launched a lottery for fully vaccinated people offering cash prizes, cars and electric scooters.
However, due to a low uptake and high rates of people not showing up for their appointments, Poland has had to destroy over 391,290 doses since the start of the vaccination program.