Iceland will receive 13,800 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in February if Europe’s Medicines Agency issues a conditional marketing authorisation next Friday, RÚV reports. Based on numbers from Norwegian authorities, the doses for Iceland were supposed to have been close to 75,000 but AstraZeneca’s production issues have interfered.
AstraZeneca announced last Saturday that the company could not deliver on its first distribution schedule for the EU and that fewer doses of the vaccine would be shipped from its factories than hoped. The number of doses could reduce by 60%.
AstraZeneca’s announcement affects all countries that negotiate their vaccine acquisition through the European Union, Iceland as well. Even if Iceland never issued an exact number of doses they were expecting from AstraZeneca, Norwegian authorities had revealed that they were expecting 1.1 million doses. Iceland receives 6.8% of the doses that go to Norway, meaning that Iceland was likely set to receive 75,000 doses of the vaccine according to the now-obsolete distribution schedule, enough to vaccinate 37,000 people.
The Ministry of Health confirmed to RÚV that Iceland will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine in the same proportions as other nations in Europe, stating: “It is to be assumed that the company’s production will increase in March which will affect the company’s distribution capacity.”
Iceland has signed deals to acquire 230,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, enough to vaccinate 115,000 Icelanders. Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason stated at an information briefing yesterday that they were expecting to receive 2,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week and 1,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine. He also stated that according to distribution schedules currently in place, Iceland could expect to vaccinate 30,000 people before the end of March, but that there was still a great deal of uncertainty and plans were liable to change depending on pharmaceutical companies production capacity and new vaccines gaining conditional marketing authorisations. He did not include the planned February arrival of 13.800 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in his numbers.