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- I am adamantly opposed to mandatory vaccinations for COVID-19. The decision to introduce such a mandate would cause social unrest - said President Andrzej Duda, opening a Cabinet Council meeting concerning the upcoming school year. The President believes that some parents are afraid of compulsory vaccinations for their children. - It is a question of responsibility and it should be up to the parents to decide whether to vaccinate their child. However, it is the state's responsibility to ensure that every citizen has the opportunity to get vaccinated- he added.

He stressed that the state should encourage people to get their shots, but refrain from using coercive measures. According to the president, such measures would have the opposite effect, because of the Polish "contrarian national character".

President Duda declared his opposition to mandatory vaccinations already in July, on the eve of the 2020 presidential election. - This is a matter of human free will. That is why I am in favor of mobilizing, persuading, running various promotional campaigns, facilitating access, and explaining. But I am very cautious about introducing any mandates - he said in an interview with Polsat News. During the 2020 election campaign, he also stated that he does not get vaccinated against the flu virus. He later explained that he "recognizes the effectiveness of vaccines" but "is not in favor of over-vaccinating" oneself.

The mandatory immunization schedule issued by the Polish Ministry of Health includes vaccines against tuberculosis, pneumococcal infections, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, hepatitis B, and haemophilus influenza type B infections. People in high-risk groups are also vaccinated against chickenpox, diphtheria, and rabies.

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Every day, 400 journalists at Gazeta Wyborcza write verified, fact-checked stories about Polish politics and society, keeping a critical eye on the ruling camp’s persistent assault on democratic values and the rule of law; the growing cultural tension between religious fundamentalism and human rights; and the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. Our journalists are on the front lines in 25 Polish cities, reporting from the streets, hospitals, and courtrooms about issues that move public opinion.

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