First Doses of Moderna Vaccine Arrive in Iceland

Vala Hafstað

Twelve hundred doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the US pharmaceutical company Moderna arrived in Iceland from Belgium early this morning on board an Icelandair cargo plane, mbl.is reports. Two doses of the vaccine are required per person, to be administered with a 28-day interval. This is the first shipment of the Moderna vaccine to arrive in Iceland. 

The vaccine was transported from Keflavík International Airport by TVG-Zimsen to the office of the distributing company Distica in Garðabær, in the capital area.

Transporting the Moderna vaccine is less complicated than transporting that from Pfizer/BioNTech, since it requires storage at minus 15 to minus 20°C (between 5°F and -4°F), as opposed to minus 70°C (-94°F) for the one from Pfizer/BioNTec.

TVG-Zimsen uses a specialized vehicle to transport the vaccine. “We frequently use this vehicle for transporting medications,” Elísa Dögg Björnsdóttir, managing director of TVG-Zimsen tells mbl.is. “It maintains the same temperature, as required. This [vaccine] needs to be transported at 5°C, but the packaging is such that the temperature inside the box is minus 20°C.”

She adds that  additional shipments of vaccine from Moderna are expected to arrive in Iceland every other week – at least through February. The plans could always change, though, she warns.

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