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:
- 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.
- 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
- 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:
- 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.
- Buy the vaccine at the pharmacy and then ask your GP to administer it.
- Visit a private clinic where influenza vaccines are available (you will need to cover both the vaccine and the service costs).
- Take advantage of campaigns organized by employers, city councils, or other organizations, which may offer free or subsidized influenza vaccinations.