Iceland will receive an additional 80,000 vaccination doses from Pfizer, RÚV reports. This was stated during an announcement from the Ministry of Health yesterday.
The European Commission previously had an agreement to purchase 200 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, but has now decided on an additional agreement which secures a further 100 million doses. This means that Iceland, as well as other states in cooporation with European authorities, can purchase additional doses of the vaccine from the manufacturer.
Yesterday, Iceland received its first shipment of Pfizer vaccinations. This shipment contained 10,000 doses. The previous agreement between Iceland and Pfizer secured 170,000 doses. The agreement for the addition 80,000 doses is due to be signed today, which will mean that Iceland has secured a total of 250,000 doses. This is enough for the country to vaccinate 125,000 people. The organisation concerning the shipment and distribution of the vaccine is still to be arranged. The European Commission is involved in ongoing negotiations with Pfizer concerning the delivery schedule of vaccination doses.
As the first shipment of vaccinations arrived in the country yesterday, administration of the vaccination has started today. RÚV reports that Landspítali’s 800 employees will be among the first to be prioritised for the vaccine. Employees of the hospital received a text message yesterday which included a barcode to be scanned in order to receive the vaccine. This message also explains that the vaccination will take approximately 20-30 minutes and and that there will be trips to and from Landspítali and the vaccination site. This first round of vaccinations also includes employees from the Fossvogur emergency department, the emergency children’s department, and the intensive care unit, as well as the COVID-19 outpatient department. This first round of vaccinations is estimated to conclude on Wednesday (December 30th).
As the vaccine is beginning to be rolled out across the country, many people are asking the question of whether the vaccine should be compulsory. Today, Vísir reports that the majority of people are in favour of the vaccine being deemed compulsory. This comes from a survey conducted by Zenter Research for Fréttablaðið.
This survey reveals that 6 out of 10 people believe the vaccination should be compulsory. The report details which groups of people are most likely to support, or oppose, compulsory vaccination. According to the survey, citizens living in rural areas are more likely to support the idea, and people aged over 65 are the most likely to be in favour of vaccination. One trend that was revealed by the survey showed that those with a university degree were more likely to oppose compulsory vaccination than those without degrees. Additionally, there is also a correlation between a person’s political leaning and whether they support or oppose compulsory vaccination. Pirates and Left Green voters were the most likely to be in favour, whereas Centre Party voters displayed the greatest opposition.
Whatever your thoughts are, the vaccine is currently not mandatory, though citizens are encouraged to get vaccinated if and when the opportunity arises. This will help to achieve herd immunity and ultimately put an end to pandemic.
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