Identifying effective approaches for improving national vaccination coverage


Jacek Wysocki1, M.D., Ph.D.
Lidia B. Brydak2 Ph.D.

Basic Demographic Data

Total Population on December 31, 2004: 38,173,835

Poland Divided into 16 Provinces:

  • The Smallest Province (Lubuskie): 1,009,168 Inhabitants
  • The Largest Province (Mazowieckie): 5,147,997 Inhabitants

Polish Vaccination Program

The Polish Vaccination Program is divided into two parts:

  1. Mandatory Vaccinations:
    • Vaccines are scheduled according to the age of the child.
    • Vaccines and services are provided free of charge to patients.
    • Vaccines are procured and distributed by the government.
    • In theory, parents could be legally required to ensure their children complete the vaccination schedule.
  2. Recommended Vaccinations:
    • These vaccinations are considered important for patients.
    • However, the Health Care System does not cover the cost of these vaccines.
    • Family physicians should inform patients about these recommended vaccinations.
    • The final decision to get these vaccines depends on the patients themselves.
    • Patients are responsible for covering the cost of these vaccines, either by purchasing them at a drug store or through other means.

Recommended vaccinations include:

  • Haemophilus influenzae type B
  • DTPa (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, and Polio)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Influenza
  • Tick-borne encephalitis
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)

To get influenza vaccinations in Poland when they are not covered by the National Health Fund, you can:

  1. Ask your GP and pay for the vaccine (only for the vaccine, not for the service).
    • Please note that influenza vaccines may not be available at every GP’s office.
  2. Buy the vaccine at the pharmacy and then ask your GP to administer it.
  3. Visit a private clinic where influenza vaccines are available (you will need to cover both the vaccine and the service costs).
  4. Take advantage of campaigns organized by employers, city councils, or other organizations, which may offer free or subsidized influenza vaccinations.