Quick update about COVID vaccination for foreigners living in Poland. First the statement. My intention here is not to start any quarrel for the validity of vaccinations but provide you information’s about it. I sent an mail to subscribers, but apparently, on the base of the replies, it was too poor in information. For this reason, I am providing you this article with information from official GOV site, which are translated and with comments from my side. I will not translate or comment all, but only the information which in my opinion are most important for you. Since it is not one of my “regular articles”, the form of it will be slightly changed. Anyway, as always – bulleted list below:

Organization of COVID vaccination in Poland

“How is the process of vaccinating Poles going?

Vaccinations – in accordance with the National Immunization Program – are carried out in stages:

  • Stage 0: employees of the health care sector (including individual practitioners), employees of social welfare homes and employees of municipal social welfare centers as well as auxiliary and administrative staff in medical facilities, including sanitary stations – epidemiological, parents of premature babies, retired doctors with the right to practice, who have an e-referral issued in the Internet Patient Account;
  • Stage 1: residents of social welfare homes, care and treatment facilities, nursing and care facilities and other places of stationary stay, people over 60 years of age in order from the oldest, uniformed services, including the Polish Army , teachers;
  • Stage 2: people under the age of 60 with chronic diseases that increase the risk of severe COVID-19, or during diagnosis and treatment requiring repeated or continuous contact with health care facilities, people directly ensuring the functioning of the state’s basic activities and at risk of infection with due to frequent social contacts ; 
  • Stage 3: entrepreneurs and employees of sectors closed under the regulations on the establishment of specific restrictions, orders and bans in connection with the occurrence of the epidemic will be vaccinated. General vaccination of the rest of the adult population will also be implemented.”

Is COVID vaccination mandatory and how much does it cost?

Is the vaccine compulsory? If so, are there any sanctions for refusing to vaccinate?

Vaccinations are completely voluntary. We encourage everyone to vaccinate against COVID-19. The more people get vaccinated, the more effective protection against the coronavirus will be.”

“Will the vaccinated person have in writing which vaccine (e.g. from the manufacturer) has been vaccinated?

 Information will be available, among others on the Internet Patient Account (patient.gov.pl).”

“How Much Does the Coronavirus Vaccine Cost? Are vaccines fully reimbursed? If not, which groups are reimbursed?

The vaccine is free and voluntary. It cuts off the human-to-human transmission of the virus. The vaccination program is not only a return to normal, but also a job protection tool.”

Foreigners – COVID vaccination in Poland

“Foreigners with the right to stay are vaccinated according to the same rules as Polish citizens.”


“Vaccinations are divided into stages. When you are at a given stage of vaccination and you have a PESEL number – an e-referral will be issued automatically, which will be valid for 60 days. If you do not have a PESEL number, or you were not able to undergo vaccination during the period of validity of the first referral, the next one will be issued by your doctor individually.”

My comment here: At this stage, having a PESEL number, residence card and GP doctor will allow you to get vaccination for free, smoother and without any bigger complications. Apparently, paying NFZ contribution is not obligatory to get vaccination. We need to remember, that conditions may change as the situation is very dynamic. Anyway – If you would like to know more about PESEL , POZ / GP doctor or NFZ, use my articles mentioned below:

Health care in Poland

GP / POZ doctor


As Hyin said in the comments below, process is still pretty unclear. I also need to add here, that we need to be patient. This might take few months, before the bigger part of us will be vaccinated. In meantime, process might change few times. I will do my best to update this post frequently.

Newest update about foreigners without PESEL:

The current regulations tailored to the needs of patients allow the vaccine to be obtained without a PESEL number. The POZ doctor has the right and should issue you an e-referral for vaccination via the gabinet.gov.pl. When issuing a referral, in the field “patient data”, he should select “other identifier” (instead of “PESEL number”) and enter the number of the identity document you use. Ideally, it should be a passport number or a foreign ID card, which you need to have with your during vaccination.

Source: https://pacjent.gov.pl/aktualnosc/e-skierowanie-na-szczepienie-dla-cudzoziemcow


There are 4 ways to register yourself for vaccination, as we can read on gov page.

  • calling free 989 number
  • e-registraion available via Pacjent GOV
  • by calling chosen vaccination point, from map available here
  • via sms

My comment here: Hotline is available on this moment in multiple languages: Polish, English, Russian and Ukrainian. All details baout registration are avilable on official registration GOV page. I strongly advise to visit this official side, since it contains also movies with detailed instructions to follow.

“Where can I get vaccinated?

When registering for a vaccination, you will be offered a vaccination centers closest to you. However, you can check the list of points at here

Medical Aspect – COVID vaccination in Poland

“I have been through COVID-19. Should I get vaccinated?

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and PHE (Public Health England), having the disease is not a contraindication to vaccination.”

“Is the vaccine safe for pregnant women?

As of December 14, 2020, in the recommendations of the Vaccine Advisory Committees in Great Britain, Canada and the United States, where the Pfizer / BioNTech mRNA vaccine was approved for the COVID-19 vaccination program, it was indicated, inter alia, that it does not recommend getting vaccinated during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as no clinical trials have been conducted in such groups of patients.”

“How to prepare for vaccinations (Fasting? After a night of rest, etc.?)

There are no specific recommendations regarding the preparation for vaccinations. Therefore, you can get vaccinated throughout the day, regardless of meals, but preferably when you are rested.“

“Will the vaccine avoid another wave of the pandemic? How many Poles need to be “vaccinated” to achieve “herd immunity”?

The vaccine is one of the greatest human medical achievements. Thanks to vaccines, it was possible to eliminate or significantly reduce many diseases, such as smallpox, diphtheria or hepatitis B. The same may be the case with the coronavirus. With an effective vaccine, his ability to infect more people can be eliminated.

In order to achieve population immunity, as many people as possible should be vaccinated. Different vaccines will have a different vaccine coverage percentage to protect the rest of the people who could not get vaccinated. It is assumed that over 80% of vaccinated people in the population will constitute a protective cocoon for the unvaccinated. But 50% of the vaccinated population will significantly reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus in it.”

Update from 21st April 2021

As we can read on gov portal SzczepimySie, government claims: “We are accelerating the National Immunization Program. Until May 9, e-referrals for all Poles 18+”. This includes as well foreigners living in Poland. Below you may find the dates for opening registrations available from 26th of April, sorted by year of birth:

  • April 26th – born 1974-1975,
  • April 27th – born 1976-1977,
  • April 28th – born 1978-1979,
  • April 29th – born in 1980-1981,
  • April 30th – born 1982-1983,
  • May 1st – born 1984-1985,
  • May 3rd – 1986-1987,
  • May 4th – 1988-1989,
  • May 5th – 1990-1991,
  • May 6th – 1992-1993,
  • May 7th – 1994-1996,
  • May 8th – 1997-1999,
  • May 9th – 2000-2003

All pepople born before 1973, may register themselves anymoment.

Questionnaire to download

There is pretty important aspect related with comment which I received from Thanos – language in vaccination points. I called 989 and asked about the same. Lady there, told me honestly that it does depend on personal skills of nurses available in the centers. But there is no official rule for support in any other language than Polish. However, I asked how the process looks like and if there is anything to make it easier for someone, who does not speak Polish. So, you may download in advance form/questionnaire which I attached below and ask your polish speaking friend for help you with filling it in. Filled in questionnaire is a “must have” in case of this vaccination – you can’t proceed, without it.As you will do this at home and take it with you, you will just need to show your ID.

In addition, if you fill uncomfortable, you can call the vaccination center, where you are assigned and ask in if they do have someone who speaks English. If not, you may call another center and change the location of vaccination.

Summary of COVID vaccination in Poland

I hope I clarified the situation a little bit. If you have any additional questions about mentioned vaccination, feel free to ask them via comment box below. I will do my best to answer on it as soon as possible.

Would you like to read more publications about “Health” on my blog? Click here. You also get to main “Table of content“, which is available here. Do you want to stay in touch and get updates about new posts? Subscribe now.




Hyin · 11/01/2021 at 10:01

Hi Matuesz,
I read in the following article https://www.wroclaw.pl/portal/szczepienia-przeciw-covid-19-dla-obcokrajowcow-zasady?fbclid=IwAR2YH740fHb2ZgUfI_A_I3GNTIPUo8w8fNbJRrlcMpIffhirGA9Kc3RfZxM that foreigners will not receive e-referral automatically.
Could you help to clarify because I’m confused if foreingers need to go register at a NFZ clinic to get referral.
Thanks a lot.
By the way, your site is helpful and insightful!

    Mateusz · 11/01/2021 at 16:55

    Hey Hyin,

    First of all, thank you for your good word and comment. For the second – process for Poles is also still pretty fresh, so rules may change any moment. Technically, they need only PESEL number, but I highly recommend to get in touch with your local GP (Lekarz POZ – podstawowej opieki zdrowotnej). I called 989 as well, just to clarify the process, but gentlemen in there was also not 100% sure about it.

    He said: “(…) foreigner needs to have a PESEL number and temporary residence. In such case, he should have obtain e-referral automatically.”
    I asked him: “but what if he will not get it?”
    His reply: “he should contact POZ”.

    As you can see, we have 3x different versions already – one from GOV side, second from Wrocław and third from helpline. My advice:

    Make sure, that you have a PESEL number and temporary residence / karta pobytu. Get in touch with local clinic or Luxmed and set up yourself a GP doctor. This gives you the biggest chance for smooth vaccination.
    But still, keep in mind, that the whole process might be changed multiple times and take a lot of time. I mean few months. This is why I will try to keep this post up to date.

Carina · 11/01/2021 at 21:02

Thank you for it! Very useful

    Mateusz · 11/01/2021 at 21:23

    Hi Carina!

    Thank you very much. I am really happy to hear this 🙂

Serdar · 11/01/2021 at 21:55

Hi Mateusz, really helpful article. Just got one question regarding your comment “ My comment here: At this stage, having a PESEL number, residence card and GP doctor will allow you to get vaccination for free, smoother and without any bigger complications.” do we have to have all 3 mentioned or having only PESEL and residence card would be enough. Asking because I am not registered to any GP in Poland so I wonder if I should do it or not?


    Mateusz · 11/01/2021 at 22:04

    Hey Serdar,

    Accordingly with current statement, only PESEL and Residence are required. GP might be your quickest option to get referral for vaccination if your automatic referral would not work somehow 😉

    But trust me – from all of the 3x things which you mentioned, getting your own GP (doktor POZ) is the easiest part.

    You can read more about it here:

Syed Usman · 11/01/2021 at 22:27

Dear Mateusz !

It’s pleasure to read this and previous article…

You are doing great efforts towards expats community in Poland 🇵🇱

Being social media activist I am trying my best to share your articles with expats community in Poland to have a clear picture and I have dropped my email to be in contact so we can coop on cultural and many other topics related expats life in poland

    Mateusz · 12/01/2021 at 05:40

    Good morning Syed,

    you warm the cockles of my heart 🙂 Thank You

Jesus · 12/01/2021 at 17:22

Hi. Great explanation thank you very much.
May I ask you if it is know when stage 2 and 3 expected to be begin appx. ?

    Mateusz · 13/01/2021 at 05:36

    Hey Jesus,

    sorry to say so, but nothing from offical sources. This is the GOV page which I recommend to follow:

    “Od kiedy mogę się szczepić?”

    Anyway, on this moment there are no dates for 2nd or 3rd stage.

Chris · 10/04/2021 at 21:58

Hi Mateusz,

What if I am a EU citizen who works I Poland and has a PESEL, but no residency card?
I go home to my EU country every couple weeks and the office told me that as long as I am crossing the border every 3 month, a card was not necessary.

Any ideas?

    Mateusz · 13/04/2021 at 05:31

    Hi Chris,

    as far as it goes right now, almost every single volunteer gets a possibility for vaccination. Residency card should not been an issue. For the rest, if there will be any major changes or restrictions, I will keep you all posted.

Siva · 12/04/2021 at 14:20

Hi , I don’t have a PESEL number, but I have a residence visa as am married to Polish citizens. Can I just go to a GP and get recommendations to be vaccinated ?

    Mateusz · 13/04/2021 at 05:43

    Hi Siva,

    this is very tricky question – majority of GP’s requires PESEL number in order to process costs of the visit or medicines via NFZ. But if you managed somehow, to sign into the GP without PESEL, he might have a possibility to give you vaccination referral as well. However, on the moment of replying on this comment, government started with registration people born in 1962. I would strongly advise, to request PESEL, especially, that in your case (marriage with Polish citizen) it will be really quick, and you will need it a lot in the future. Link to separate article below:
    PESEL – link

Thanos · 20/04/2021 at 12:36

Do we know if non-Polish speakers will have any issue at vaccination centers? I am asking because I know that there are some forms that have to be signed and the process may not allow someone to proceed with vaccination if they clearly do not understand the documents. Do we know anything about it? Are there English speakers who have already went through this? Thank you

    Mateusz · 21/04/2021 at 16:56

    Hi Thanos,

    I just called 989 (COVID helpline) and asked about the same. I am updateing this post about thie same right away.

    Finn · 23/04/2021 at 22:38

    My wife (who doesn’t speak any Polish) went for her vaccination today. She had to fill in 2 forms and has used the Google translate app on her phone to translate the text. This was no problem for any of the nurses who were present. One of the documents was the exact same questionnaire that you can download here, and another document is where you will have to sign that you understand that you need to wait 15 minutes after the vaccination before leaving back home. No further questions asked and the whole procedure from arriving to the vaccination center (Luxmed, Szamocka 6, Warsaw) and leaving including the 15 minute wait was less than half an hour. It went incredibly smooth.

      Mateusz · 24/04/2021 at 22:51

      Positive information – good to hear this.

Daniel Gaona · 21/04/2021 at 18:09

Thanks for the help ! Looking forward for any updates ! 🙂

    Mateusz · 21/04/2021 at 21:25


Alex · 25/04/2021 at 12:07

Hi, is biontech vaccine available in Poland? Do we have a choice?

    Mateusz · 26/04/2021 at 06:46

    Hi Alex,

    so BionTech vaccine is actually Pfizer/BioNTech. So yes, Pfizer/BioNTech is available in Poland. Answering the second part of your question, here is the quote from interview with Waldemar Kraska – Deputy Minister of Health:
    At this stage of vaccination, we do not expect the patient to be able to choose which of the preparations (brand of a vaccine) will be vaccinated against COVID-19
    Source in Polish: Click here

Cheung · 28/04/2021 at 17:54

Hi Mateusz,

Thank you for these useful information, I want to ask, how to get the second dose after the first one, shall the vaccination spot inform us with an exact date, or shall we get registered again?

Meanwhile, after you finish the second dose, are we going to receive any paper, or prove?

Thank you for answering! Have a nice evening!

    Mateusz · 30/04/2021 at 12:30

    Hi Cheung,

    very valid question. I called 989 to ask about the same. The vaccination center supposed to offer you 2nd dose date at the moment when you get your first dose. Only the vaccination center which gave you first dose, can offer you second dose. 989 number can’t help here. In case that you would not be offered with 2nd dose, you need to call the vaccination center which you visited for the first time and get the date from them.

    As we talk about the paper or prove – on the moment of writing this reply, there are not confirmed programs like this. However, I heard a rumor about few different variations. I will update this article, as soon as I will have information from confirmed source.

Yair Blau · 30/04/2021 at 13:14

Hi Mateusz,
As a foreigner without a PESEL here, only Karta pobytu, i can’t create a profile in profil zaufany because of the PESEL thing (This is the only field missing).
Is there a way to bypass this problem or there is another way? My Medicover center is not issuing e referrals for the vaccination.

    Mateusz · 04/05/2021 at 05:39

    Hi Yair,

    you may try to do it via online banking, but to be honest with you, I do not see the reason for not having PESEL. If you live here for a while and plan stay for longer, you will need it anyway. Therefore, I strongly recommend getting your PESEL 😉 Link here

    Summarizing your question: In theory, every single way which allows you to register for vaccination requires PESEL.

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