“He didn’t want to get vaccinated,” Wiazecki said. “His siblings are also not vaccinated, and even though he is dying, they still don’t want to get vaccinated.”

As 83-year-old Hanna Zientara endured subfreezing temperatures to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot in Warsaw, her 30-year-old grandson was starting a Canary Islands vacation while unvaccinated and stubbornly refusing his grandmother’s repeated pleas to protect himself, the AP’s Vanessa Gera reports from Warsaw.

“I am worried about him, but I have no influence over him. None,” Zientara said. “He has many doctor friends who aren’t getting vaccinated, and he says if they aren’t getting vaccinated, then he doesn’t have to.”

Poland and several other countries in Central and Eastern Europe are battling their latest surges of coronavirus cases and deaths while continuing to record much lower vaccinations rates than in Western Europe.

In Russia, more than 1,200 people with COVID-19 died every day for most of November and on several days in December, and the daily death toll remains over 1,100. Ukraine, which is recording hundreds of virus deaths a day, is emerging from its deadliest period of the pandemic.

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