Mr Niedzielski told radio broadcaster Radio Zet over the weekend that he believed the European Commission President’s mistakes with the procurement of coronavirus vaccines for the bloc is partly to blame for the third wave of infections crippling the continent. The Polish minister said he predicted the third wave to peak in March/April, as he blasted Mrs von der Leyen and her team for the vaccine fiasco.
He said: “In January, we accelerated, it was not such a problem, but at the moment, unfortunately, it can be said that the EU’s purchasing policy will be partly responsible for the fact that we have a third wave in Europe.”
Poland is expected to announce new rules this week demanding a negative coronavirus test result to enter the country.
Mr Niedzielski said that a person with a negative coronavirus test result will not have to quarantine after entering the country.
He said: “We are aiming for the end of the week.”
He added that the government wasn’t planning to reintroduce broad new restrictions over the course of the coming weeks.
Coronavirus infections have increased recently, consistently reaching over 8,000 new daily cases.
Poland has loosened some restrictions, opening ski slopes as well as cinemas, hotels and theatres at up to 50 percent capacity, but authorities have warned that these measures may have to be rolled back depending on the pandemic situation.
The Commission President was forced to apologise more than once after she engaged in a bitter contractual row with vaccine provider AstraZeneca.
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But Mrs von der Leyen tried to explain away the botched process on technical grounds.
On Monday, Malta Prime Minister Robert Albert also blasted the Commission chief as he claimed the EU’s vaccine strategy is failing smaller member states like Malta.
The Maltese leader blasted the shortcomings of the EU’s beloved Single Market as he claimed the system fails to guarantee a balanced distribution of vaccine vials across the bloc.
Mr Abela also stressed how Brexit has left his country reliant on a system that has so far fallen short of expectations, warning the EU’s health shambles could spark the collapse of Malta’s healthcare system.
In a letter to European Council President Charles Michel, he said: “The reality is that a genuine Single Market for pharmaceuticals for patients does not exist.
“Access to pharmaceuticals is dependent on the financial viability of the pharmaceutical product on the market of each Member State.
“This has led to the creation of a long-standing structural problem, particularly for smaller Member States.
“Unfortunately, with the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU, Malta has lost its main legal vehicle to supply medicinal products to its patients.
“I am very concerned with this situation since shortages of medicinal products will undermine the effectiveness of our healthcare system.
“This is of even greater concern since we are currently in the middle of a health crisis.”