Icelandic health authorities officially began administering the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this morning, turning over a new leaf in the battle against the pandemic. Four healthcare workers were the first to receive the vaccine, followed by a nursing home resident in Reykjavík. Some 1,600 nursing home residents and 770 healthcare workers will be vaccinated today or tomorrow. Icelandic authorities hope to vaccinate 75% of the population within the first half of 2021.
The first four people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in Iceland were ICU paramedic Christina Elí Zondo, ICU nurse Kristín Gunnarsdóttir, resident in internal medicine Elías Eyþórsson and Thelma Guðrún Jónsdóttir, assistant in the Emergency Department. The first doses of the vaccine that arrived in Iceland yesterday will be used to vaccinate healthcare workers and nursing home residents, as outlined in health authorities’ COVID-19 vaccine prioritisation.
Iceland to Receive Additional 80,000 Pfizer Doses
The Health Ministry announced yesterday that Iceland will receive an additional 80,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in addition to the 170,000 doses it has already signed a contract for. This means Iceland will receive enough Pfizer vaccine doses to vaccinate 125,000 people. The first 10,000 doses of the vaccine arrived yesterday, and between 3,000-4,000 doses are expected weekly in January and February. The timeline for the arrival of the remaining doses is not yet clear.
The vials in which the Pfizer vaccine doses are packaged have been found to have an additional (sixth) dose which is likely to be used in vaccination efforts as well. Read more about Iceland’s contracts with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers here.