Polls have shown Poland to be among the most vaccine-skeptic countries in Europe. Public health experts warn that the long-standing vaccine skepticism could threaten the country’s march toward herd immunity.

PiS is confident that herd immunity will be reached in the next few months. That includes both Poles who have been vaccinated as well as those who acquired immunity after a COVID-19 infection. Health Minister Adam Niedzielski, speaking in May, said the country will reach that point by September at the latest. That estimate looks reasonable: Around 40 percent of Poles have already gotten at least one dose as of June 9, while 89 percent will be fully vaccinated by late September if the current rate continues.

However, a recent poll, by state-owned pollster CBOS, showed that as many as 25 percent of Poles would refuse the vaccine.  The other issue is that public health experts are increasingly worried the higher infectiousness seen in some variants, especially the Delta variant. Which means that effective herd immunity actually needs to be higher than 70 percent.

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