Booster vaccinations for COVID-19 for individuals who have been vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine without a history of previous COVID infection.
The goal of vaccinating individuals 16 years and older against COVID-19, which was set when the vaccination campaign began at the end of December 2020, has been achieved, as almost 90% of individuals of this age in Iceland have been vaccinated. Primary vaccination continues for those who have not already received the vaccination and those who move to the country unvaccinated or reach the age to receive vaccination according to marketing authorisation and the recommendation of the Chief Epidemiologist. The supply of vaccines according to delivery plans based on agreements made on behalf of the nation allows for consideration to be given to enhancing the response of certain groups through booster vaccination.
In week 33 the aim is to vaccinate the following groups:
Second vaccination for those who received a first dose of Pfizer in July.
Booster doses for those who were vaccinated with Janssen at least 28 days ago. Those who have antibodies after recovering from COVID-19 infection and have received a Janssen booster dose do not need to show up for another Pfizer booster dose.
Invitations will be sent out for these groups, and people are kindly requested to wait to show up at the time specified in the invitation.
As the vaccinations of susceptible individuals for COVID-19 are far along, it is time to offer vaccination to those with a history of COVID-19 or antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, to enhance protection against re-infection.
The Janssen vaccine will be used for this group, except for individuals who should receive the Pfizer vaccine due to their young age or pregnancy.
If fewer than 3 months have passed since the confirmed COVID-19 infection, it is recommended to postpone vaccination until after that time.
A pilot program has been launched to accept the Excelsior Pass Opnast í nýjum glugga at the Icelandic border from passengers flying from New York. The Excelsior Pass is a free voluntary digital health pass developed by New York State in partnership with IBM and currently available to New Yorkers to verify their COVID-19 vaccination or test results.
The results of the pilot program will possibly be used to allow Iceland to accept and verify health credentials from the IBM Digital Health Pass platform.
A trial project is being undertaken for the reception of a European digital COVID-19 certificate at the borders of Iceland for those arriving to the country. The first passengers carrying such certificates arrived to the country yesterday.
The certificate will be applicable in all EU Member States as well as in Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. It will be available in paper format as well as digital format by downloading it to a mobile phone. Security and verifiability of the certificates has been emphasised and both formats will contain a QR-code. The certificate is also free of charge and in both Icelandic and English.
EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) has recommended granting an extension of indication for the COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty to include use in children aged 12 to 15. The vaccine is already approved for use in adults and adolescents aged 16 and above.
Comirnaty is a vaccine for preventing COVID-19. It contains a molecule called messenger RNA (mRNA) with instructions for producing a protein, known as the spike protein, naturally present in SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine works by preparing the body to defend itself against SARS-CoV-2.
The use of the Comirnaty vaccine in children from 12 to 15 will be the same as it is in people aged 16 and above. It is given as two injections in the muscles of the upper arm, given three weeks apart.
The Government of Iceland has announced temporary border measures to counter the domestic spread of COVID-19. These measures aim to create conditions to allow lifting domestic restrictions as much as possible. The vaccination programme in Iceland is continuing at pace, and as more people become vaccinated, conditions for easing restrictions will become more favourable, both within society and at the border.
The Minister of Health will submit a bill to the Althingi Parliament to amend the current legislation to give a legal basis to the measures announced today.
Stay in a quarantine facility: The authorities can decide that from April 22 to May 31, passengers arriving from countries where the 14-day infection rate exceeds 1,000 cases per 100,000 population need to stay in a quarantine facility.
Around 4,500 people in Iceland have received their second vaccination injection against COVID-19 and will thus be considered fully vaccinated. The Directorate of Health is now finalizing a digital solution that enables those individuals to obtain a vaccination certificate online at www.heilsuvera.is. The certificate must be in accordance with existing European standards and the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. The aim is to facilitate the movement of people between countries, so that individuals can present a vaccine certificate at the border and be exempt from COVID-19 border measures in accordance with the rules of the country concerned.
As announced earlier this month, the Minister of Health has decided that vaccination certificates that meet the Chief Epidemiologist of Iceland’s guidelines and are issued in an EEA/EFTA state will be valid at the Icelandic border. Those presenting such a certificate are exempt from official border restrictions and are therefore not obliged to undergo a screening.