Recently, a flurry of social media posts and dubious publications claimed that Iceland had banned COVID-19 vaccinations. This assertion, however, is far from the truth. Contrary to these reports, Iceland remains steadfast in its approach to combatting COVID-19, particularly for those most vulnerable.
The roots of this misinformation can be traced back to an article on the EVOL website, titled "Iceland Bans Covid Shots amid Soaring Sudden Deaths", published on November 25, 2023, which made alarming claims about Iceland's stance on COVID-19 vaccines and an alleged increase in sudden deaths.
Central to this narrative was Sasha Latypova, a figure previously discredited for her misleading claims about vaccines. The article suggested that the Icelandic government was ceasing the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, based on information from a conference where Latypova spoke:
Speakers at the conference talked about COVID-19 injection harms and the World Health Organisation's (WHO) power grab. Sasha Latypova was one of the six speakers at the event ... Six weeks later, the organizers of the conference informed Latypova that the Icelandic government announced that, from next week, COVID-19 injections would no longer be available in Iceland.
But as of December 5, 2023, Iceland's health strategy tells a different story. The Directorate of Health, reflecting the most recent guidelines, continued to administer the updated Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer.
There was no hint of a ban in these guidelines. Instead, there was clear support for vaccination, particularly for high-risk groups including those with underlying health conditions, seniors, pregnant individuals, and healthcare workers.
Dr. Guðrún Aspelund, the Chief Epidemiologist at the Icelandic Directorate of Health, denied both the supposed ban on COVID-19 vaccines and the alleged spike in sudden deaths. The reality, she pointed out, was that vaccinations were not only ongoing but were also being actively recommended for high-risk groups:
"Iceland has not banned COVID-19 vaccines, and there are no soaring sudden deaths either. COVID-19 vaccinations are being administered and recommended to certain high-risk groups, but with no immediate plans to vaccinate the entire population."
At the heart of the EVOL article's claims was a reference to a lecture titled "Let the Science Speak." But this event did not have any official ties to either the WHO or the Icelandic government. Moreover, Latypova's blog post, which seemed to be the basis for these claims, did not assert a government ban on vaccines, but rather a temporary unavailability, without any mention of sudden deaths.
In summary, the claims of Iceland banning COVID-19 vaccines are unfounded and unsupported by evidence. Iceland's commitment to fighting the pandemic through vaccination, especially for those at greater risk, remains unshaken.