Inspired by a recent post on our Krakow Expats Facebook Group, by Tetiana Demydko of Collaborate, Kraków, we took the opportunity to update our previous article on the Polish Government Covid Vaccination programme.
Tetiana, kindly agreed to allow us to use her post as the basis of this article, where we will do our very best to help you to navigate through the registration procedures.
We’ve added further detailed information, and the latest updates, which includes more details, links to official sources, and importantly details and a helpline specifically for foreigners.
PLease note that the vaccinations programme is constantly changing as the Government work to accelerate and develop the roll out of the programme. PLEASE, Always check the official sources of information which are listed below, and treat this article as a guide only.
How to get vaccinated?
If you pre-registered between January-March for the vaccination and are 30-39 years old you can register as of 28th April, 2021.
If you have pre-registered between January-March for the vaccination and are 18-29 years old you can register as of 4th May, 2021.
If you have NOT pre-registered between January-March, follow the schedule, of registration dates by year of birth, shown below.
The Government announcement added that :- “We provide more flexibility in the implementation of vaccinations, so the schedule may change depending on the situation.”
28th April – born 1978-1979
29th April – born 1980-1981
30th April – born 1982-1983
1st May – born 1984-1985
3rd May – born 1986-1987
4th May – born 1988-1989
5th May – born 1990-1991
6th May – born 1992-1993
7th May – born 1994-1996
8th May – born 1997-1999
9th May – born 2000-2003
10th May – everyone over the age of 18 will have e-referrals issued and can register for a specific date for vaccination against COVID-19.
To reserve a vaccination appointment, you must have an e-referral issued.
If you are eligible for registration, you have 4 options for registering for vaccination:
1. Call the 24/7 free helpline – 989
You can do this yourself or someone close to your family can enroll you. A PESEL number is enough to register. A mobile phone number is not required, but if you provide it, you will receive an SMS confirming your appointment. (Recommended). This way you can register your grandparents or parents. It is enough that the individual is eligible for vaccination and you have their PESEL number.
When registering, you will choose the exact date and place of vaccination. (KED Note – In my case I could choose the date/time, from a list of 5 or 6 options, but the system offered me a single location, my local health centre – DMcG) Then – if you provided a telephone number – you will receive an SMS confirming the appointment for vaccination.
Go to the website Register for vaccination ( Zarejestruj się na szczepienie) and go to e-registration.
Choose from two paths: “quick registration” or “full registration”.
Now you don’t need a trusted profile to sign up for a vaccination.
Choose the e-registration fast path
Using the ‘Fast Registration’ (Szybka rejestracja)
Now you can quickly arrange your COVID -19 vaccination online . You do not need a trusted profile
You enter your name, PESEL number, and phone number – you must have this phone with you.
Enter your details and click “Register”.
Note, no field can be left blank.
A pop-up window will appear in which you will enter the code that you will receive via SMS to the phone number you provided. It is also possible to ask for the code to be sent again, e.g. if you wait too long before entering it.
Then you will be in the e-registration, where you will choose the place, date of the procedure, type of vaccine.
After signing up for the vaccination date, you will receive an SMS confirming the appointment for vaccination from the e-health system.
If some data is not correct, for example:
- you enter your name or PESEL incorrectly
- you do not have your phone with you and you cannot enter the code
- you do not provide all the necessary data
- you do not have an e-referral issued
– you will see the message “Registration is not possible”.
To find out why you cannot use the vaccination registration fast track, you must log in to the system in full.
With the ‘Full registration’ (Pełna rejestracja) option, you log in using your trusted profile (profil zaufany).
The system will suggest five available dates at vaccination centers that are close to your address. If none of the proposed dates suits you or you want to get vaccinated in a different place, in a different city – you will be able to do so.
All you need to do is use the available search engine and select a convenient date and location for you.
Immediately after booking, you will receive an SMS notification and then we will remind you again about the vaccination the day before the scheduled date. Important! If you want to use this method of registration, you must have a Profil Zaufany.
Further details on the Fast and Full registration options can be found here.
If you have difficulty finding a suitable date at the vaccination point of your choice, call the NFZ helpline on 989. Consultants will help you find another vaccination point near you with a date that suits you.
4. Send an SMS
Send an SMS to the number 664 908 556 or 880 333 333 writing: SzczepimySie
By sending an SMS to one of the above-mentioned numbers (both numbers lead to one system), you will connect to the system that will guide you step by step.
First, you will be asked to provide your PESEL number, and then to submit your zip code. The system will suggest the nearest date for vaccination at a point near your place of residence. If this date is not convenient for you, you will be able to choose other dates.
After registration, you will receive an SMS reminding you about the date and place of the visit 24 hours before the vaccination. (KED Note – In my case I subsequently received an SMS with a change of date, moving my appointment one day forward – DMcG)
Important! If there is no free date in the registration system, the hotline will call back to all persons who send an SMS when the new vaccination dates are launched.
E-referral for vaccination of foreigners
The Polish Government have helpfully provided a website, dedicated to providing information and advice for foreigners, including information on how to get vaccinated if you do not have a pesel.
We’ve included the key points, and a link to the foreigners vaccination page, below:-
E-referrals are automatically issued for subsequent age groups, according to the year of birth. They are, therefore, issued to individuals who have a PESEL number and can check it using their online patient accounts (Internetowe Konto Patienta).
What about people who do not have a PESEL number because they are foreigners, but they have the right of residence because they work or study here or their family members live in Poland?
Regardless of whether:
- you attend a school or a university in Poland,
- you are a foreign PhD student,
- you are a foreigner who has obtained a work permit,
- you are a diplomat,
- you are the spouse or child of one of the above-mentioned persons who has obtained the right of residence in Poland,
You should talk to you GP.
How e-referrals are issued by GPs
A GP has the right and is required to issue a referral for vaccination using the gabinet.gov.pl application.
When issuing the referral, in the field “patient’s data”, the GP should select “Other identifier” (instead of “PESEL Number”) and enter the number of the identity document used by the eligible foreigner. Ideally, this should be a passport number or foreign identity card.
Do not forget to take your identity document with you, the details of which were provided by your GP. Remember to use exactly the same identity document that was used to issue the e-referral, at every stage of the vaccination process.
Using the e-referral issued in the system, you can register for vaccination in one of the following ways:
- by calling our helpline at 989 ,
- by sending a text message (SMS): SzczepimySie at 664 908 556, or
- directly at the selected vaccination centre convenient for you, for your place of residence / stay. See the map of vaccination centers.
Vaccination against COVID-19 for foreigners legally residing in Poland is free of charge.
You can register for vaccination at the appropriate time as specified in the schedule of vaccination for individual age groups.
Every foreigner who stays legally in Poland may submit to vaccination. He/she is authorised to do so if he has a residence card, a visa or any other relevant document. If a foreigner does not have a PESEL number, he/she may register via his/her passport number.
Helpline For Foreign Callers
The helpline of the National Immunisation Program can be contacted on 989, but they have also added an option for foreign callers. Tel: 22 62 62 989
Essential Links – National Covid Vaccination Programme
Vaccinations Against Covid 19 – Important Information (https://www.gov.pl/web/szczepimysie)
(Szczepienia przeciwko COVID-19 – ważne informacje)
Facebook – We Vaccinate Ourselves – ‘Szczepimy Się’
Official Government Vaccination Facebook Page offering ‘Vaccinations against COVID-19 – Verified information.’
How to Get Vaccinated? https://www.gov.pl/web/szczepimysie/jak-sie–zaszczepic
(Jak się zaszczepić?)
Vaccination FAQ’s (Polish) (https://www.gov.pl/web/szczepimysie/pytania-i-odpowiedzi)
(Pytania i Odpowiedzi)
Małopolska Voivodes’ plenipotentiary for vaccination
The voivode plenipotentiaries for vaccination are regional coordination and contact points for the National Vaccination Program.
My Vaccination Experience
I was fortunate that for me, the whole process went very smoothly. I pre-registered around January, but didn’t expect to hear anything until later in the year.
On 2nd April, I logged into my e-patient account and saw that I was able to register for a vaccination appointment ( a week or so, before my ‘official date for my age group to register’.
This was around the time when things got a little messy and disorganised when the government announced, a schedule of registration dates, by year of birth, then overnight unexpectedly opened registration to all, only for the demand to crash the online system.
So all in all, a bit of a confusing and broken system, at least for a day or so. I guess I got lucky, logging in soon after the system was restored.
I was offered an appointment at my local health centre, the system informed me that it would be the Pfizer vaccine, for 11th April, only 9 days later. (the appointment was subsequently changed to the 10th, and I was notified of the new date by SMS)
On the day of my appointment, there was a very small queue, of perhaps 8-10 people, outside the building. It turned out that this was only people who had turned up early for their appointment, and were waiting for their time slot.
After only a couple of minutes, one of the medical staff called forward those of use with appointments for 1155. He took my temperature, handed me a form (see below) with a pre-vaccination questionnaire, and I was allowed into the building. There were several treatment/vaccination rooms in operation.
I only waited as long as it took to fill in my form, perhaps 3 minutes, then I was called into the room. My doctor was at the desk in front of a computer, and a nurse was ready with the vaccination. I was only asked for my pesel, no ID/Passport.
I was vaccinated, given a card (see below), and told my next vaccination would be in 5 weeks (this may differ for other vaccinations, I had Pfizer) . I was asked to wait for 15 minutes for observations in case of any adverse reaction, then I could go.
I received an SMS with confirmation of my appointment for my 2nd vaccination before I even left the health centre.
There were no ill effects at the time, however later in the day, my arm was painful, as if I’d been punched. The next day it was sorer and spread to my upper arm and shoulder. On day 3 it had gone. (the pain, not the arm ;-))
Pre-Vaccination Medical Questionnaire
I have made a translation of the pre-vaccination questionnaire into English, (see below). This should be used only as a guide, the Polish version of the form will still have to be completed at your vaccination centre, but the translation should help in answering the questions and ticking the correct boxes.
Covid Vaccination Card (Pfizer)
COVID-19 Vaccination – News & Updates
We will add news and updates as they become available in this section.
Temporary Vaccination Centre Built on Rynek for May Weekend (Majowka)
As part of the Governments ‘Get vaccinated at (Majowka)’ May weekend holiday, across 16 voivodeships action, (Akcja „Zaszczep się w majówkę” ruszy w 16 województwach) a temporary vaccination centre has been established on Rynk Główny, for the May holiday weekend.
The action “Vaccinate on Majówka” will be take place from 1st to 3rd May, between 8 am – 8 pm, and will be operated by three teams from the University Hospital, Fire officers and the Territorial Defence Forces.
Anyone who has reached the appropriate age, according to the schedule presented by the government, and has a referral, will be able to get vaccinated. You do not need to register in advance . The city have provided 2,500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccination.
Vaccination in the Workplace Commencing 4th May
On 4th May, applications for vaccinations at workplaces will commence. It will be possible only in those places where the employer will manage to collect at least 300 people willing to accept the vaccination.
- employees of workplaces,
- members of professional self-governments and industry associations,
- cooperating persons (employed under a civil law contract or self-employed),
- students who are 18 years of age or older (reported by the university),
- family members of these people.
The employer who collects a sufficient number of applicants will also be responsible for establishing cooperation with the existing vaccination center, which agrees to organise the vaccination process of its employees. The reporting system itself will be simple and fast. It is enough to fill in the form, which from May 4 will be available on the website of the Government Center for Security .
Internetowe Konto Pacjanta IKP – (Online Patient Account)