Icelandic authorities expect to vaccinate just under 190,000 individuals by the end of June this year, according to a government notice released yesterday. This figure amounts to just over 50% of the country’s population of 368,590 and is based on existing contracts with vaccine manufacturers Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca. Two additional vaccine manufacturers are expected to begin distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Europe in the second quarter.
Icelandic authorities began administering vaccinations against COVID-19 on December 29, 2020. As of the time of writing, 5,944 have been fully vaccinated while 8,143 have received their first dose of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines. Health authorities in Iceland plan to eventually offer vaccines to all residents 16 and older, in total 280,000 people, or just under 76% of the population.
Two Additional Vaccines Could Arrive in Second Quarter
While the figure of 190,000 is based on distribution schedules of the three vaccines that are already being administered in Iceland, it is likely that additional vaccines will become available to Iceland in the second quarter. Icelandic authorities have negotiated their existing vaccine contracts through the European Union. The European Medicines Agency is expected to grant two more COVID-19 vaccines a conditional marketing licence in Europe in the coming weeks.
If the two vaccines, produced by Janssen and Curevac, are granted a licence, their distribution could begin in the second quarter, though just how many doses will be available has not been made public. EU authorities are also negotiating purchase of COVID-19 vaccines from Novavax, which would then become available to Iceland through the same EU contracts as other vaccines.
Vaccination Calendar Forthcoming
Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason is working on a vaccination calendar, intended to give the public a better idea of when they can expect to be offered vaccination based on priority groups. The calendar will be based on vaccine manufacturers’ existing distribution schedules and will be subject to change. Danish and Norwegian authorities have published such calendars.