On the use of vaccines against COVID-19 in Iceland

Pfizer/BioNTech:

  • mRNA vaccine (genetic material in lipid particles, no virus).
    • The body reads the mRNA and produces proteins that the immune system learns to recognise.
  • Must be transported in very cold conditions but can be stored in a refrigerator for a few days before use.
  • 6 doses in a vial if the right equipment is available, otherwise 5.
  • All doses must be mixed and used immediately.
    • People must be gathered together but not too many; suitable all over the country.
  • Allergic reactions  are more common than with some other vaccines.
  • Takes 3 weeks to complete vaccination; should not be delayed longer than 6 weeks.*
    • Vaccine for the second dose may need to be reserved to ensure that there is an appropriate interval between vaccinations.
  • Suitable for use by those 16 years and older and individuals at risk for severe COVID-19 infection. Studies on vaccinating children as young as 12 yrs. have been submitted to marketing authorities in many countries and the European Medicines Agency has started reviewing the data for authorization for use in children age 12–15 yrs.
  • The first vaccine to become available in Iceland. About 245,000 individuals will be vaccinated with this vaccine:
    • Elderly and healthcare professionals first.
    • Risk groups that need complete vaccination quickly (e.g. due to delays in treatment in order to complete vaccination, such as cancer treatment, intermittent use of immunomodulating drugs, etc.).
    • Individuals 16–17 years old who choose to be vaccinated as no other vaccine is registered for use for this age group.
    • Others until the vaccine runs out, according to published Priority List.

Moderna:

  • mRNA vaccine (genetic material in lipid particles, no virus).
    • The body reads the mRNA and produces proteins that the immune system learns to recognise.
  • Less difficult to transport to Iceland but needs to be kept in the dark during transport and storage.
  • 11 doses in each vial if the right equipment is available, otherwise 10.
  • Must be mixed and all doses from the vial must be used immediately.
    • People must be gathered for vaccination in rather large groups; best suited to urban areas.
  • Allergic reactions  are more common than with some other vaccines.
  • Takes 4 weeks to complete vaccination; should not be delayed longer than 5 weeks.*
    • Vaccine for the second dose must be reserved to ensure that there is an appropriate interval between vaccinations.
  • Suitable for use by those 18 years and older and individuals at risk for severe COVID-19 infection. Studies on vaccinating children have begun.
  • The second vaccine to become available in Iceland. Approximately 147,000 individuals will be vaccinated with this vaccine:
    • Healthcare professionals and responders (police, etc.) first, mainly in urban areas.
    • Risk groups that need complete vaccination quickly (e.g. due to delays in treatment to order to complete vaccination, such as biotech drugs for rheumatism, etc.), mainly in urban areas.
    • Others until the vaccine runs out, according to the published Priority List*.

AstraZeneca:

  • An ape cold virus that has been inactivated so that it cannot reproduce and genetic material added for the same protein as our bodies produce after mRNA vaccination.
  • Transported and stored under the same conditions as the vaccines we use in routine primary care.
  • There are 10 doses in each vial.
    • Must be used within a few hours of opening the vial but does not need to be mixed and used immediately like the mRNA vaccines.
    • Can be quite suitable in rural areas, although quite a few people need to be vaccinated on the same day.
  • Allergic reactions  are not as common as with mRNA vaccines.
  • Takes 12 weeks to complete vaccination; interval can be shortened down to 4 weeks if pressing need arises but protection is better with a longer interval.*
    • No need to reserve vaccine to ensure specific intervals.
  • Registered for use for 18 years and older. To begin with, there was uncertainty about efficacy in those aged 65 and older due to the small number of participants in that age group in pre-marketing research , but the data available is now adequate due to UK research (here and here ). Suitable for individuals at risk of severe COVID-19 infection. Studies vaccinating children have begun. Changes to the groups receiving this vaccine repeatedly due to unusual blood clots, see here for details.
  • The third vaccine to become available in Iceland. About 115,000 individuals will be vaccinated with this:

    • Vaccinated before 10 March 2021:
      • Nursing home staff, 18–64 years.
      • Risk groups who need to start vaccination as soon as possible but are not receiving treatment that affects the timing of the second dose, 18–64 years.
      • Healthcare professionals who have not already been vaccinated.

    • Vaccinated after 24 March 2021:
    • Vaccinated after 9 April 2021:
      • Those 60 yrs or older who do not have a history of spontaneous venous thrombosis or diseases that increase the risk of venous thrombosis according to expert opinion.

    • Vaccinated after 30 April 2021:
      • Women 55 years or older who do not have a history of spontaneous venous thrombosis or diseases that incrase the risk of venous thrombosis according to expert opinion.
      • Men who do not have a history of spontaneous venous thrombosis or disease that increase the risk of venous thrombosis according to expert opinion.
    • Vaccinated after 12 May 2021:
      • Women born 1966 or earlier who do not have a history of spontaneous venous thrombosis or diseases that increase the risk of venous thrombosis according to expert opinion.
      • Men born 1981 or earlier who do not have a history of spontaneous venous thrombosis or disease that increase the risk of venous thrombosis according to expert opinion.
      • Women born 1967 or later and men born 1982 or later who have already received the first dose may request the second dose to be the same vaccine despite the general policy that mRNA vaccine be used to complete the vaccination.

Janssen:

  • A cold virus (adenovirus 26) that has been inactivated so that it cannot reproduce and that has had genetic material added for the same protein as our bodies produce after mRNA vaccination.
  • Transported frozen but can be stored at the vaccination site under the same conditions as the vaccines we use in routine primary care.
  • There are 5 doses in the vial. Approved by EMA as a single dose vaccine.
    • Must be used within a few hours of opening the vial, but does not need to be mixed and used immediately like the mRNA vaccines.
    • Can be well suited in rural areas and for individuals who are difficult to reach for vaccination due to residence, work or otherwise.
  • Allergic reactions  are not as common as with mRNA vaccines.
  • Blood clots of the same type described for Astra Zeneca vaccine here above have occured where millions of doses have been used, but are very rare.
  • One dose significantly reduces the risk of infection, serious illness and death from COVID-19 disease. It is being investigated whether a booster dose further strengthens the defence.
  • Suitable for use by those 18 years and older. Suitable for individuals at risk of severe COVID-19 infection. Studies vaccinating children have begun.
  • The fourth vaccine to become available in Iceland. About 235,000 individuals will be vaccinated with this:
    • Risk groups that need vaccination as soon as possible. For immune compromised individuals another vaccine is preferred. Will not be recommended for women who desire COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy.
    • Individuals who may not be able to receive two doses with a very specific interval in Iceland, such as those working temporarily in Iceland. Others until the vaccine runs out, according to published Priority List.

* The dose interval used for vaccinations depends on the dose interval in pre-marketing vaccine studies. In general, there is a greater risk of decreased response to vaccination if the interval between doses is too short than if it is longer than the manufacturer recommends.


Fyrst birt 29.03.2021
Síðast uppfært 13.05.2021

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