From Iceland — Chief Epidemiologist Sticks With EU Vaccines

Chief Epidemiologist Sticks With EU Vaccines

Published January 20, 2021

John Pearson
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Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason yesterday dismissed the idea of buying coronavirus vaccines from outside the EU, Vísir reports.

Despite the fact that it might speed up the national inoculation process, Þórólfur confirmed that such an act would breach Iceland’s pact with the European trading bloc – a pact which currently provides Iceland’s access to the vaccine.

“The ministry made agreements with the European Medicines Agency,” Þórólfur said. “As a result, Iceland is obliged to buy vaccines in accordance with these agreements.”

However, Þórólfur indicated that the immunisation program might receive a boost through a third type of vaccine becoming available, and also from Iceland’s possible involvement in a study by vaccine manufacturer Pfizer. Both of these developments would result in more vaccine becoming available to Iceland than is currently envisaged.

A further shipment of Pfizer BioNTech vaccines, capable of inoculating 3,600 people, arrived in Iceland yesterday, and this week health authorities hope to deliver the second vaccination to 5,000 front-line workers and nursing home residents. The next priority group to receive the vaccine will be those over 70 years old.

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