Iceland has not banned Covid-19 vaccines

26 March 2024
What was claimed

The Covid-19 vaccine has been banned in Iceland.

Our verdict

This is not true. The Covid vaccine was not banned in Iceland, where it is still available.

A false claim that Iceland has banned the Covid-19 vaccine in response to a spike in sudden deaths has resurfaced on social media.

The claim—which we last wrote about in December 2023, after it started circulating the previous month—often includes a screenshot from an article from a website called ThaiMBC, saying “Iceland Bans Covid Shots amid Soaring Sudden Deaths”.

But neither Iceland’s Ministry of Health nor its Directorate of Health has announced this. Indeed, they’ve confirmed it’s not true.

In November, Iceland’s chief epidemiologist at the Centre for Health Security and Communicable Disease Control, Gudrun Aspelund, told USA Today fact checkers: “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.”

Iceland’s Ministry of Health confirmed to Full Fact that this is still the case as of March 2024, 

The country continues to recommend that people over 60 and those with chronic diseases receive a Covid booster vaccine every six months.

The false claim that Iceland had banned the Covid vaccine seemed to come from a misunderstanding of an article in an Icelandic newspaper, as we explained in our last fact check.

Iceland began to deliver its 2023/24 winter vaccine campaign from 2 October 2023.

False information about health policy may be dangerous if people use it to make decisions about their own health.

Image courtesy of Tom Podmore

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.