Switzerland has concluded three 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. The vaccine producers will then distribute them in stages over several months:
- Pfizer/BioNTech: 3 million vaccine doses
- Moderna: 7.5 million vaccine doses
- AstraZeneca: 5.3 million vaccine doses
Each individual will probably need to receive two doses of the vaccine spaced a few weeks apart.
The federal government will continue to hold talks with vaccine producers with the aim, if possible, of procuring different types of vaccine for the Swiss population. This will increase the chances of ensuring that different target groups receive the most effective vaccine possible.
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: