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Infection rate 13x higher among non-vaccinated

07.12.2021 - 11:06
Mynd: RÚV / Ágúst Ólafsson
There is a thirteenfold difference in the 14-day coronavirus infection rate per 100,000 people between non-vaccinated people and those who have been vaccinated and had their booster.
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Nearly half of hospital admissions during the current fourth wave of infection have been non-vaccinated people, though the health minister says it is Important to respect the point-of-view of people who have not been vaccinated.  

The first COVID-19 vaccine shot in Iceland was administered on 29th December last year and nearly 700,000 more have followed since. At half a millilitre each, that is somewhere in the region of 350 litres of vaccine. 

Medical authorities in Iceland have not yet taken a final decision on the vaccination of 5-11-year-olds. Even without this age group, 76 percent of people in Iceland are fully vaccinated, according to data on covid.is. People refuse vaccination for a variety of reasons and vaccination is not compulsory in Iceland. The lowest proportion of vaccinated people can be found in the Suðurnes region, at 71 percent, while the highest proportion is in North Iceland: 81 percent. When looking only at people aged 12 who have been invited for vaccination, the proportion who have been vaccinated is now 90 percent over the country as a whole. 

Nearly everyone aged 70 and over is fully or partially vaccinated. The uptake decreases with age, and is lowest in the 12-15 age group, where nearly a quarter remain unvaccinated. 

Huge difference in infection rate 

There is a very different 14-day infection rate across the groups—with 13 times more non-vaccinated people becoming infected than those who have had full vaccination plus a booster. The rate is 754.6 per 100,000 people over the past 14 days, compared to 58.5. The rate is 470.3 among people who are vaccinated but not boosted. 

While only a small proportion of the nation is not vaccinated, these individuals make up 42 percent of those requiring hospital treatment at Landspítali national university hospital during the fourth wave—and one in three covid patients in intensive care have not been vaccinated. 

Respecting other opinions 

This week is the final week that booster shots are being offered before Christmas. Nearly 120,000 people have already been boosted. Yesterday, the new health minister Willum Þór Þórsson joined their ranks, saying: “They are such professionals working with this. I didn’t feel it at all. I am just doing as the scientists have said and encouraged. This helps in the fight. But one has to respect those points-of-view held by people who, for all sorts of different reasons are scared or do not want to get vaccinated.” 

There is a cabinet meeting today, after which Willum is expected to announce what changes, if any, will be made to anti-contagion restrictions within Iceland after tomorrow. 

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Alexander Elliott
Fréttastofa RÚV