Iceland Plans How To Vaccinate The Country Against Coronavirus

Iceland Plans How To Vaccinate The Country Against Coronavirus

Published December 7, 2020

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
NIAID/Wikimedia Commons

Like many other countries in the world, Iceland has its sights set on getting a coronavirus vaccine in the first half of the new year. The question being addressed now, by national and municipal interests alike, is how to vaccinate the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time.

According to a statement from Reykjavík Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson, the city has organised a team focused specifically on this aim.

Representatives of capital area health clinics met with the Civic Protection council to this end, bearing in mind that it is currently unknown how many vaccine doses will be coming to Iceland in the first round. As such, the aim of the first stage of vaccinations will be to prioritise those of greatest need of it, presumably those most vulnerable to the effects of the virus.

One idea that is being floated is to organise the vaccinations in the same way that elections are—that is, to have several centres all around Reykjavík and surrounding municipalities capable of receiving large groups of people. As roughly two-thirds of Iceland’s total population lives in or around the capital city, such a vacination plan would have the potential to reach a great number of people in a very short amount of time.

Óskar Reykdalsson, director of the capital area health centres, told Morgunblaðið that he believes everyone who wants the vaccine could get it within a matter of days, with the possibility of vaccinating tens of thousands a day in the cards.

There are still some unanswered questions, as Ragnheiður Erlendsdóttir, the director of the nurses of the capital area clinics, pointed out to Vísir. Amongst these is how many vaccine samples will come to Iceland and when. There are also logistical issues with the vaccination process, including the fact that each person receiving a vaccine will need to wait 20 minutes before leaving a vaccination centre.

All this being the case, exactly how Icelandic health officials will vaccinate the country will become clearer as these questions are answered.

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