Iceland Keen on Russian Vaccine

The Icelandic government is in the early stages of negotiations to purchase the Russian-produced vaccine against COVID-19, Sputnik V. The government intends to continue the negotiations, possibly in collaboration with neighbouring countries. The Ministry of Health confirmed this in a statement to RÚV.

Iceland’s purchase of the Sputnik V vaccine would be subject to the drug receiving a conditional marketing licence from the European Medicines Agency. The Agency began a phased evaluation of the vaccine on March 4. The negotiations do not affect Iceland’s participation in the European co-operation on the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines, through which it is expected to acquire six different vaccines.

Research has shown the Sputnik V vaccine to be both safe and effective. A peer-reviewed study published in The Lancet found the vaccine to have 91.6% protection against COVID-19 disease in the study as a whole and 100% protection against severe and moderate COVID-19 disease. Effectiveness was consistent across age groups and side effects were generally mild.

Iceland has so far fully vaccinated 6.6% of its population or 24,344 people. Another 25,915 have received their first dose. Vaccination rollout will speed up this month, with 10,000 scheduled to receive a dose this week alone. Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist stated in a briefing yesterday that the country was on track for vaccinating a majority of the population by the end of July.

Reykjanes Eruption: Third Fissure Opens

Geldingadalir eruption Reykjanes new fissure

A third fissure has opened at the site of the ongoing eruption on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula, the Icelandic Met Office reports. The fissure opened at midnight last night and is located between the original vents in Geldingadalur valley, where the eruption began on March 19, and two other fissures that opened on Monday, April 5.

Geldingadalir eruption Reykjanes new fissure
A screenshot from RÚV. The new fissure is circled.

Search and rescue crews observed subsidence (and area of sunken ground) yesterday about 420 metres northeast of the eruption’s origin site. This sunken area, some 150 metres long and 1 metre deep, is where the new fissure opened up. The lava from the new fissure is mostly flowing into Geldingadalir valley.

Watch the eruption live.