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.