Iceland’s Talks Not Limited to Pfizer

Vala Hafstað

Icelandic officials have not only been engaged in talks with Pfizer, but with other pharmaceutical companies as well, regarding the possibility of a research project involving vaccinating about 60 percent of the Icelandic nation, Morgunblaðið reports. Talks with Pfizer have been going on the longest, and it will become clear this week whether they end up being successful.

The talks involve the possibility of speeding up the delivery of COVID-19 vaccine in exchange for a phase IV trial. The research would, among other things, involve finding out whether herd immunity can be achieved in the country - information, which could benefit other nations. See our previous report here

It was reported yesterday that Israel has agreed to participate in a research project for Pfizer, but of another kind than Iceland is negotiating.

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir tells Morgunblaðið she still expects the majority of Icelanders to be vaccinated during the first half of the year. Richard Bergström, spokesman for Iceland, Sweden and Norway in negotiations with the European Union regarding vaccine purchases, stated in an interview with RÚV over the weekend he believed all adults in Iceland would be vaccinated by the middle of the year. He explained that the EU has earmarked more than a million doses of vaccine for Iceland from five vaccine makers: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen and Curevac.

Five thousand doses, adequate for 2,500 people, are expected in Iceland from Moderna in January and February. Moderna has agreed to ship a total of 128,000 doses, sufficient for 64,000 people, to Iceland. Pfizer has doubled the number of vaccine doses earmarked for the EU, resulting in Iceland’s share doubling as well to a total of 500,000 doses, sufficient for 250,000 people.

What remains unclear is their delivery date, as well as the delivery date for the rest of the Moderna vaccine and for the AstraZeneca vaccine. Katrín points out this uncertainty exists in other countries as well.

About 1.4 percent of the Icelandic nation have been vaccinated for COVID-19 – a rate similar to what it is in countries around us. Israel is far ahead of other countries when it comes to vaccinations for COVID-19. There, 20 percent of the nation have been vaccinated. 


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