Iceland: Pfizer decides against study in Iceland

NordenBladet – It became clear yesterday that the pharmaceutical company Pfizer will not be conducting a phase IV trial of its COVID-19 vaccine in Iceland, Morgunblaðið reports. Pfizer’s representatives stated that given how few cases of COVID-19 there are in Iceland, the chances were slim that such a study would yield useful results.

Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason, Kári Stefánsson, CEO of deCode Genetics, and Már Kristjánsson, head of Landspítali’s infectious disease division, met online yesterday with representatives of Pfizer to discuss the possibility of Pfizer conducting a study in Iceland in order to research, among other things, whether herd immunity could be achieved.

Þórólfur stated that at no stage had a draft agreement been in place. Expectations in society, therefore, had been too high.

Kári told yesterday he believed media coverage of the talks had had a negative impact on their process.

A total of 4,856 people have been vaccinated for COVID-19 in Iceland, representing 1.33 percent of the nation. Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has stated she finds it likely that by the middle of the year, more than half of the nation will have been vaccinated.

Þórólfur stated yesterday he expects vaccine deliveries to occur more rapidly during the second and third quarters than during the first one. For now, he wants to maintain our good progress in fighting the virus by efficiently organizing border testing.

He has mentioned the possibility of an obligatory stay at a quarantine facility upon arrival in the country until people have received the result of their second COVID-19 test, done four to five days after arrival. Making such a stay obligatory would be in accordance with the law, but the government has not revealed whether it plans to enact such a measure.

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