Icelandic PM Given Assurance of Vaccine Delivery

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Vala Hafstað

Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir spent yesterday making phone calls and attending meetings, in an attempt to secure the Icelandic nation adequate and timely COVID-19 vaccine, mbl.is reports.

Among those Katrín spoke with was Angela Hwang, a member of Pfizer’s executive team, Morgunblaðið reports.

Yesterday morning, Katrín spoke with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, who assured Katrín that the first doses for Iceland would arrive on time, according to agreements made, provided an approval from the European Commission be given for the vaccine.

Von der Leyen tweeted about the phone call:

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. AFP

Yesterday afternoon, the EMA recommended the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and, subsequently, the European Commission granted a conditional market authorization for the vaccine. The Icelandic Medicines Agency quickly followed suit.

Vaccination within the European Union is expected to begin December 27-29.

Last weekend, Bloomberg reported that Icelandic authorities had guaranteed vaccine for only 30 percent of the nation, or 103,000 people. This report caused some confusion. Subsequently, the Office of the Prime Minister issued a statement, saying that vaccine had been guaranteed from Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca, sufficient for 200,000 people, and that the plan was to sign an agreement with Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) by Christmas, guaranteeing vaccine enough for 117,000 people. An agreement with Moderna is in the pipeline as well.

The first 5,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are expected this week, and as of December 27, 3,000 doses on average of that vaccine will arrive a week through the end of March.

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