Iceland’s Ministry of Health and Chief Epidemiologist have released a calendar for COVID-19 vaccination. The calendar is intended to give the public an indication of when vaccination for each priority group is likely to start. The calendar is tentative and will be regularly updated as vaccines are approved and distribution schedules are updated. Icelandic health authorities expect to vaccinate all locals over the age of 16 before the end of June 2021.
Vaccination against COVID-19 began in Iceland on December 29, 2020 and just over 10,000 have been fully vaccinated (2.9% of the population). Three vaccines have been licensed and are being administered in Iceland: those manufactured by Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna. There is a confirmed distribution schedule for these vaccines until the end of March. Though exact distribution schedules from the three manufacturers are not available for the second quarter, Icelandic authorities say they expect enough doses from them to inoculate 190,000 individuals by the end of June.
Three Additional Vaccines Pending
Iceland has entered into agreements for the purchase of CureVac and Janssen COVID-19 vaccines on the basis of European co-operation. The European Union is concluding an agreement for purchase of the Novavax vaccine as well, to which Iceland is a party. These three additional vaccines are being evaluated by the European Medicines Agency and are expected to receive conditional marketing licences soon.
The CureVac, Janssen, and Novavax contracts include delivery schedules for the second quarter of this year (April to June) and the vaccination calendar takes this information into account. The data is however subject to the three vaccines receiving conditional marketing authorisations from the European Medicines Agency and subsequently the Icelandic Medicines Agency.
The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the epidemiologist, will update the vaccination calendar as the vaccination progresses and as new information is received about vaccines and their delivery.