The Ministry of Health recently told the RÚV news agency that Iceland has to send 16,000 doses of AstraZeneca back to Norway by the end of June.
Sending vaccines back to Norway
Norway has not used AstraZeneca since March after the nation announced they would withdraw AstraZeneca from its vaccination program due to the risk of rare blood clots. However, Iceland continued to use the vaccine when 16,000 doses were borrowed from Norway at the end of April to further bolster Iceland’s vaccination plan. The ministry announced that they would have to return those doses to Norway by the end of this month, “unless otherwise agreed.”
Inconsistencies with AstraZeneca
At the end of May, Iceland had received 17,000 doses of AstraZeneca with an additional 7,000 expected to arrive this month. The ever-changing delivery schedule and lack of information have made a planned distribution of this vaccine difficult for health authorities. Now, the focus has shifted to first, fully vaccinating those who have already received their initial dose of AstraZeneca.
To combat discrepancies, the ministry has requested confirmation from the pharmaceutical company for confirmed delivery plans, noting that “The company faced production difficulties in the beginning and no other explanations have been received.” If further complications arrive, Þórólfur Guðnason, an epidemiologist, explains that those who are unable to receive their second injection of AstraZeneca would likely be replaced with Pfizer to become fully vaccinated against the virus.
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