Governments in many countries across Europe have been tightening restrictions in order to prevent the detrimental impacts of another wave of COVID-19 outbreak. Yet the government of Poland is sitting tight, not imposing new restrictions while the measures being enforced are often ignored, particularly by the unvaccinated.
Last Wednesday was so far the most tragic, as 24,239 new infection cases and 463 deaths were reported. Although the death toll dropped to 370 on Thursday, the number of new cases recorded still went up at 24,882.
Why the Polish Government Deems It Best to Do Nothing at All
Poland’s nationalist government has grown wary of beefing up its support base. Poland’s Health Minister Adam Niedzielski explained to the Polish media last Thursday that regrettably, the anti-vaccination movement in the country has grown relatively strong and in a way, professionally organized. In Poland, the least vaccinated regions correspond to those populations that overwhelmingly supported the Law and Justice Party (PiS) that was in rule two years ago.
Nonetheless, the Health Minister told the state-run news agency PAP that the government intends to impose restrictions, including mandatory vaccinations only if conditions reach a critical level of infections, specifically at a sustained number of between 35,000 and 40,000 new cases per day. In the meantime there is not enough justification or reason to require mandatory actions.
At present, the rate of vaccination in Poland is only 53 percent, which is still a long way off from the 70 vaccination rate that experts estimate that a country needs to achieve in order to slow down the spread of the pandemic.
Still, what is happening to Polish is also happening in some Central European regions, where the political right enjoys strong public support in refusing vaccination. As a result, those regions whilst having low rates of vaccination are the ones currently experiencing relatively higher rates of COVID-19 infection.