Are vaccinations mandatory in Poland? Posted by on Oct 10, 2018 in Countries, Health, Medicine

We all know that this subject sparks a lot of discussions and divided opinions in each country. In Poland vaccinations (szczepionki) included in the immunization schedule are mandatory. This means that every child residing in Poland can receive vaccines refunded by the state, but it also means that parents are obliged to show up on vaccination visits. Refusal to vaccinate usually means triggering an administrative procedure, which typically involves a monetary fine.

Mandatory vaccinations (obowiązkowe szczepionki) are set by Polish law and pertain to all children which are residing in Poland for longer than 3 months. Soon after the birth of a child, parents are given a national immunisation card which is held by the family doctor. The doctor is responsible for checking that their patients have had the necessary vaccines.

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11 vaccines – including those against tuberculosis (gruźlica), hepatitis B (zapalenie wątroby typu B), diphtheria (błonica), tetanus (tężec), poliomyelitis (paraliż dziecięcy), pneumococcal disease (choroba pneumokokowa), measles (odra),whooping cough (krztusiec), mumps (świnka) and rubella (różyczka) – are mandatory.

Despite a period of great change, childhood vaccination rates have remained high. In recent years, an increasing number of parents have challenged this legal requirement and refused or delayed vaccination against certain diseases.

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Recently, one of my friends asked me about a specific immunization and i couldn’t translate the word into English…(it was mumps, which when translated exactly into English is “piggy” :)) Well, here is a list of different diseases and immunizations in Polish and English, just in case you have a similar problem.


odra    – measles
ospa wietrzna    – chickenpox
różyczka    – German measles
szkarlatyna  –   scarlet fever
świnka –  mumps

astma –    asthma
ból gardła  – sore throat
dreszcze   – shivers
gorączka  –   fever
gruźlica    – tuberculosis
grypa –   flu
migdałki    – tonsils
przeziębienie    –  cold
zapalenie oskrzeli – bronchitis
zapalenie płuc – pneumonia

białaczka – leukaemia
ból pleców    – backache
ból zęba –    toothache
cukrzyca – diabetes
czkawka    – hiccups
katar sienny    – hayfever
niestrawność – indigestion
porażenie słoneczne –    sunstroke
żółtaczka    – jaundice

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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.


  1. Celina:

    By reading all your blogs and writing the words and phrases taught in them, what level would one be/how much polish will one know?