The fourth wave of the pandemic is already with us, but we do not have population immunity. The government encourages vaccination but insists that it is not compulsory. Doctors say straightforwardly: just starting vaccinations will do nothing. You need to encourage, explain and dispel fears – promote vaccinations for the common good, follow the example of other countries. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.
In Auckland, New Zealand, the lockdown was extended. Since the beginning of the school year, around 3,000 classrooms in France have been closed due to COVID-19. The largest wave of epidemics to date is going through Australia, in many areas a strict lockdown has been introduced – restrictions were relaxed in Sydney for the fully vaccinated.
“To those who choose not to get vaccinated, it’s your choice, but don’t expect to be able to do what the vaccinated people do,” says New South Wales Prime Minister Gladys Berekiklian.
Poles divided over vaccinations
The epidemic situation in many countries shows that the fight against the coronavirus is still ongoing. – The fourth wave is inevitable, it is already here – admits Minister of Health Adam Niedzielski.
Governments are still looking for a way to encourage vaccination. Although, as doctors note, it is difficult to say in Poland that this method has been found. – It does not seem that this campaign actually resonates. She has disappeared somewhere – says Bartosz Fiałek, a specialist in the field of rheumatology.
From the latest Kantar survey for “Fakty” TVN and TVN24 shows that almost half of the respondents believe that one should move in facilities for the vaccinated. 44 percent of those asked are against the privileges. – This really only confirms the low interest in vaccinations against COVID-19 in Poland – says Bartosz Fiałek.
Discrepancy between the opinions of government experts and politicians
Dr. Paweł Grzesiowski, an expert of the Supreme Medical Chamber on the COVID-19 pandemic, believes that in order for there to be queues at the vaccination points again, we should “unequivocally, absolutely support those who choose to vaccinate”.
Politicians think otherwise. Zbigniew Ziobro emphasizes that “we do not need more quarrels, further divisions of Polish society”. Although those in power of vaccinations say “yes” – they also emphasize that it is not an obligation. – Indeed, we encourage you to vaccinate, but I repeat: vaccination is not compulsory – says President Andrzej Duda.
– The government does not convince people who have a right to fear, have a right to be afraid. They’re outright flirting with anti-vaccines. This is their electorate. They cannot stand against them and hence we have this problem in Poland – believes Bartosz Arłukowicz from the Civic Coalition.
Just over 19 million people are fully vaccinated. Poland is at the tail of the European Union. Experts still remind that the development of the fourth wave depends precisely on the level of vaccination of the society. – The increase in coronavirus detection also causes an increase in the number of people who go to Polish hospitals. Unfortunately, most of them are people who are not vaccinated – points out Deputy Minister of Health Waldemar Kraska.
Doctors emphasize that those who really wanted are fully vaccinated or have taken at least the first dose, but now you have the most difficult task ahead of you. – Convincing people with high doubts, with a large number of these doubts, unfortunately, no one is doing anything in this direction. And it is very dangerous – says Bartosz Fiałek.
How to encourage vaccinations?
Usually launch of vaccination points may not be enough. – Out of 143 students who could be vaccinated, parents enrolled only seven students – informs the headmaster of Primary School No. 37 in Białystok, Tadeusz Gaszyński.
On the other hand, the minister of education and science, Przemysław Czarnek, emphasizes that he is “against any stigmatization” and “drawing consequences from children for their parents’ decisions.” – After all, it is the parents who decide to vaccinate their children – he adds.
And parents, as shown in the research, simply do not want to vaccinate their children. – The United States has provided data on the deaths of young people infected with the coronavirus, so this is also worrying – admits Deputy Minister of Health Waldemar Kraska.
– If it cannot be done with a carrot, i.e. by persuading, organizing lotteries, educating, it seems that this proverbial stick must also be used – says Bartosz Fiałek. For a society to be safe, about 85 percent of all those eligible must be vaccinated.
Main photo source: Leszek Szymański / PAP