In a civil defense information meeting yesterday, it was stated by chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason that Iceland is going to take part in a project led by the World Health Organisation to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus.
The project is called COVAX and is an international co-operation lead by the WHO, in coordination with different manufacturers. According to a report from Vísir, the project is intended to support the development of a vaccine and establish overall control over its distribution. By participating, Iceland secures its access to vaccines.
Fréttablaðið reports that nine manufacturers have been selected for collaboration and are deemed likely to succeed. Six of them are already in the clinical trail phase of testing their vaccine.
Þórólfur is quoted in Fréttablaðið saying, “The aim of this co-operation is to vaccinate 20% of the population of the countries participating in the project by the end of 2021. Today, eighty countries have expressed an interest in participating in this project, including all the Nordic countries.”
Each individual is expected to need two vaccinations to receive full protection and it’s estimated that the cost of each dose will be around 5,000 ISK. The cost of vaccinating 20% of the population could therefore be around 700 million ISK.
As of now it is unknown which groups would have priority.
“It is usually the case that individuals at risk and sick individuals as well as health professionals take the lead when it comes to vaccination. But it is too early to say now. It will be one of the headaches of the epidemiologists to make that decision,” Þórólfur says.
It is unlikely that there will be a general supply of vaccines until the end of next year.
For more information about Iceland’s COVID-19 outbreak visit covid.is.
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