Switzerland has so far concluded five agreements for procuring vaccines
Switzerland has signed various agreements with vaccine producers. If the vaccines are authorised by Swissmedic, Switzerland will receive the number of reserved vaccine doses stated in the respective agreement in 2021. The vaccine producers will then distribute them in stages over several months:
- Pfizer/BioNTech: 6 million vaccine doses
- Moderna: 13.5 million vaccine doses for 2021 and 7 million for 2022
- Curevac: 5 million vaccine doses
- AstraZeneca: 5.3 million vaccine doses
- Novavax: 6 million vaccine doses
Switzerland thus has enough vaccine for the whole population. For 2022 sufficient vaccine is also being procured to be able to offer first-time vaccinations and any boosters.
At present the federal government is focusing in particular on mRNA vaccines to protect the Swiss population. These vaccines are proving to be highly effective and well tolerated. Given that the production and availability of vaccines are subject to such great uncertainty, the federal government continues to consider different vaccine technologies from different vaccine manufacturers. The federal government is still in negotiations with various vaccine manufacturers.
All vaccines are thoroughly checked by Swissmedic
In Switzerland, the therapeutic products agency Swissmedic is responsible for authorisation: it decides whether a vaccine should be authorised for the Swiss public. If Swissmedic is able to confirm the efficacy, safety and quality of a vaccine, it grants the marketing authorisation for Switzerland.
In an exceptional situation such as a pandemic, a vaccine still has to pass the usual checks despite the need for urgency. However, the review process can be greatly accelerated: Swissmedic uses the “rolling authorisation” procedure during the pandemic. “Rolling” refers to the fact that the data from the vaccine producers are submitted on an ongoing basis and then reviewed immediately by Swissmedic. But this doesn’t involve any compromises when it comes to safety, as the review criteria remain the same.
This video shows what is needed for a vaccine to be authorised in Switzerland: