In vaccine-shy Poland, COVID deaths top 100,000

The number of deaths per one million inhabitants the country was last week among the highest in the world, according to the Our World in Data project at the University of Oxford, at more than 57 compared to around 34 in the United States and 38 in Russia.

As he made rounds on a COVID ward at a Warsaw hospital, doctor and government advisor Konstanty Szuldrynski named low vaccination rates, delays in patients seeking treatment and underfunded healthcare were the main causes of the high death rate in Poland.

With 55.8% of the population fully vaccinated compared to 68.7% for the European Union as a whole, the country has one of the lowest rates of double-jabbed citizens in the bloc.

Vaccine hesitancy has been particularly pronounced in central and eastern Europe, with some experts attributing it to decades of Communist rule that eroded public trust in state institutions and left underdeveloped healthcare systems.