Iceland has been a vaccine paradise: Some 90 percent of people between the ages of 40-70 and 98 percent of those over 70 are fully vaccinated. On June 26, it abolished all lockdown rules. "Thank you for this joint struggle," the Health Minister told citizens. Now the country could be heading for new lockdown restrictions for the next five, ten or fifteen years.
Iceland is setting daily records for new infections, mostly among the vaccinated. Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason announced the bad news that restrictions would persist for perhaps decades because vaccines do not work.
Asked if there was no clear path out of the epidemic, now that measures are being proposed despite vaccinations, Guðnason said the virus was “unpredictable and something new comes up that changes what you thought a few months ago”.
He also said that the protection of vaccines against infection was “lower” than previously thought.
He said that the new lockdown measures he proposed should take effect as soon as possible. “I believe that if people decide on certain actions, then there is nothing left to wait for. Then I think people should make it take effect as soon as possible.”
At the information meeting is was highlighted that those who were vaccinated with Janssen would receive another vaccination product. The Pfizer vaccine would be used as there was a sufficient amount of it in the country.
“I think it’s safe to say that most of the results suggest that these vaccines are all so fundamentally similar, even though there is only a difference between studies, and the effectiveness against people getting infected is maybe around 60 percent. This means that 40 percent can still be infected.
“The activity against serious illness is maybe about 90 percent, but this only varies and there is also new information coming from Israel that the activity is probably somewhat less than this.”
Data from Israel now show that people are seven times as likely to be infected after being vaccinated than if they have already recovered.
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