Continued use of Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine (Vaxzevria) in Iceland


The Chief Epidemiologist has received the expert opinion of haematologists at Landspitali University Hospital regarding who should be targeted for vaccination with mRNA vaccines (such as Moderna vaccine) rather than Vaxzevria. Please note that these conditions are not contraindications for Vaxzevria according to the European Medicines Agency. Individuals with these conditions who have already received Vaxzevria or who may receive it hereafter are not required to send a notification to the Icelandic Medicines Agency. Individuals who belong to the following groups will be offered a different vaccine:

Women under age 55 due to the increased rate of blood clot formation in brain vessels in women in this age group compared to men.

Individuals with a history of spontaneous blood clots in veins, whether they are using blood thinners or not at this time.

Individuals with increased risk of blood clots such as patients with (with ICD10 codes)

1. Myeloproliferative syndromes

      • C92.1 chronic myeloid leukaemia; D47.1 chronic neutrophilic leukaemia and myeloproliferative disease, unspecified; D47.5 chronic eosinophilic leukaemia
      • D45 polycythaemia vera
      • D47.3 essential thrombocythaemia
      • D47.4 primary myelofibrosis, including individuals with JAK2 mutations

2. D59.5 primary nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH)

3. D68.6 lupus anticoagulant/antiphospholipid syndrome – that is, patients with autoantibodies that increase the risk of blood clots in veins

4. bone marrow disease treated with lenalidomid or similar medications (ATC L04AX04)

Please note that this list includes diseases that are considered risk factors for serious illness from COVID-19, but a large number of these individuals should expect to be vaccinated with group 10 (general public).

Individuals with these conditions will be labeled in the system that controls the invitations for vaccination and should be invited for vaccination with an mRNA vaccine and not Vaxzevria. The plan is to complete the labeling before the end of April. Those who have already declined the invitation for vaccination will be invited again for mRNA vaccine after that time. If individuals who consider themselves to belong to the groups above receive an invitation for Vaxzevria vaccination in May, they should contact their primary care who will confirm the medical history. Once that is done those who control the lists for vaccination in their region may label the individual for re-invitation when the appropriate vaccine is available. 

Chief epidemiologist