All individuals residing in Iceland will have access to COVID-19 vaccination, regardless of their residency status or whether their legal residence is in Iceland, according to the Directorate of Health. Foreign citizens will be arranged in priority groups alongside Icelandic citizens based on age and other risk factors.
“Everyone living in Iceland will have the option to get vaccinated, whether they have an Icelandic ID number (kennitala) or a legal residence in Iceland or not,” Anna María Snorradóttir, a Project Manager at the Directorate of Health told Iceland Review.
Vaccination against COVID-19 began on December 29. Vaccination is organised according to priority groups defined by the Chief Epidemiologist, beginning with frontline healthcare workers and nursing home residents. Those over 70 years of age are next in line, and Anna María says residents without a kennitala or legal residence who belong to this group will also be offered vaccination.
Important to Register Address and Underlying Risk Factors
Those living in Iceland without a kennitala or whose legal residence is registered abroad will still have access to COVID-19 vaccination in Iceland. Other databases will be used to identify individuals belonging to these groups. “It should be possible to find everyone who has a registered address and order them according to age. In some cases, municipalities have information about these groups,” Anna María stated.
Foreign citizens with underlying health risk factors must ensure those factors are registered within the Icelandic healthcare system. “If no information about risk factors is registered here in Iceland then we will not be able to put them in a priority group due to underlying risk factors. It will no doubt be difficult to find some individuals but we will do everything we can to find those who have the right to vaccination.”
COVID-19 vaccination is free of charge and optional in Iceland. Icelandic authorities have stated that those under 70 will have to wait until at least April for access to COVID-19 vaccines unless they belong to other priority groups.
Due to the dearth of vaccine, priority groups are vaccinated before the general public. At this point, individuals do not book a vaccination appointment, rather receive a notification once they qualify for vaccination due to their age, underlying condition or profession. Individuals will be notified via SMS or through the Heilsuvera online healthcare platform. Information on which priority groups are currently being vaccinated will be available at covid.is. Open vaccination appointments will be available for people who belong to the priority groups being vaccinated at each time. The information at covid.is is available in several languages and more information will be added over the course of the vaccination period.