Agreements with vaccine producers
The federal government has signed agreements with five vaccine manufacturers. Once a vaccine is approved by Swissmedic, Switzerland receives the number of doses reserved under the terms of the agreement. The vaccine manufacturers deliver the reserved doses to Switzerland in stages over several months.
- Pfizer/BioNTech: 6 million doses of vaccine in 2021 / 7 million doses in 2022 / 7 million doses in 2023
- Moderna: 13.5 million doses of vaccine in 2021 / 7 million doses in 2022
- Janssen: 150,000 vaccine doses in October 2021
- Novavax: 6 million doses of vaccine
Switzerland thus has enough vaccine for the whole population.
The federal government continues to aim for a vaccine portfolio comprising different vaccine technologies (mRNA, protein-based, viral vector), for example to be able to offer people with intolerances an alternative means of protection. The procurement of vaccines from different manufacturers is intended to ensure that sufficient quantities of authorised vaccines are available, even if there are supply difficulties.
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: