According to RÚV, up to 150 incidences of COVID-19 are diagnosed in Iceland on a daily basis, and the number of COVID infection hospital admissions is steadily increasing. While there are a significant number of infections all over Iceland, Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason says that these instances are a lot milder among the vaccinated.
Fortunately, says Þórólfur, the strain on Iceland’s health system now is milder compared to the peak of the pandemic, when there were 88 admissions in the COVID ward at the same time. At the beginning of May, there were only two patients in Landspítali’s COVID ward, which grew to nine on Thursday and 16 on Friday. The majority of patients admitted are elderly or have underlying health issues, but because the infections are not as severe, none of the present hospital admissions are on ventilators.
“There’s no denying the fact that we would have preferred for the vaccine to stop infection,” Þórólfur said. “That is not it, but it does, firstly, protect against severe illness.” If we didn’t have such extensive vaccination, especially among the elderly, I believe we’d have far worse infections and more hospital admissions.”