Vaccinations dragging out

12.03.2021 - 07:26
Vaccinations dragging out
It may take one month longer than initially expected to complete the Faroese Covid-19 vaccination programme, says chief pharmacist

The current objective of vaccinating everyone aged 16 and over by the end of June may be slightly overambitious.

This is due to Danish health authorities yesterday suspending the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine over reports of blood clots as a possible side effect.

Although the AstraZeneca vaccine, a key component of the EU’s immunisation rollouts, has not yet made its way to the Faroes, the Danish suspension is likely to affect the future supply of vaccines to the Faroes.

 >> SEE ALSO Hospital boss: vaccinations completed by summer

“We receive the same per capita allocation as Denmark, and when we hear that there may be a one-month delay in the supply of vaccines to Denmark, it is fair to assume that we will see the same thing happening in the Faroes,” says chief pharmacist Hjalti Gunnarstein, who is responsible for vaccine imports to the Faroes.

“However, this is a worst-case scenario as the Danish health authorities are keen to point out that they have not opted out of the AstraZeneca vaccine. They are simply putting it on hold for two weeks while investigating the alleged blood clot issues.”

 >> SEE ALSO Vaccine notifications sent to all in due course

Other countries, including Iceland and Norway, have also suspended the use of this vaccine.

But AstraZeneca and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) insisted yesterday that there are currently no indications of this vaccine being linked to an increased risk of blood clots and that it is safe to continue administering it while investigations are ongoing.

New vaccine

The possible delay caused by the suspension may be offset to some extent by the recent EU approval of another vaccine, produced by American pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson.

Denmark has purchased 8.2 million doses of this vaccine, which only requires a single shot and, unlike some of the other vaccines including the one from Pfizer-BioNTech, can be stored in a regular refrigerator.

Two active cases in the Faroes

No new Covid cases have been registered in the Faroes since Sunday when two people tested positive at Vágar Airport.

As a result of ferry Norrøna resuming its services, there will be no Covid testing at Tórshavn’s ferry terminal on Thursdays.

The latest vaccination figures on, updated on this morning, show that 4,901 people (9.2 percent of the population) have received the first shot of the vaccine, while 3,931 (7.4 percent) have received the second shot.

Download your English-language vaccination guide here.


Read the Faroese version of this article here.

Translated by

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