Poland to Require Vaccine Shots for Teachers, Medics, Police

WARSAW, Poland (AP) -
People leave a vaccination center at the National Stadium that also houses a temporary COVID-19 hospital, in Warsaw, Poland, in April, the day when Poland registered its all-time record number of new infections. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Poland is introducing mandatory vaccinations by March 1 for teachers, medical workers, and uniformed security workers like police, the military, firefighters and security guards.

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said Tuesday that after March 1, vaccination will be a condition for jobs in these sectors. He said amid a continuing high level of daily new infections of some 23,000, Poland was following in the footsteps of Germany and Austria in requiring vaccine jabs for these three professional groups.

He said starting Dec. 15, the number of guests at hotels, restaurants and eateries is being reduced to 30% capacity from the current 50%, and can be increased only for people who can prove they are vaccinated.

All primary and middle schools switch to online learning Dec. 20 through Jan.9. The ruling conservative party is also debating a draft law, to be prepared within days, that would empower employers to see results of COVID-19 tests of their employees.

Poland, a nation of 38 million, is seeing more than 500 coronavirus-related deaths a day and has had over 86,000 COVID-19 patients die in the pandemic.