Last updated on 12.05.2022

Who can get vaccinated?

Everyone from age 5 can be vaccinated. Boosters with an mRNA vaccine are recommended for everyone aged 12 and over. The authorities in your canton will let you know when and where you can be vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccination is free of charge for most people in Switzerland.

Who can receive a booster vaccination?

A booster vaccination with an mRNA vaccine from Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech is recommended from four months after the initial immunisation for everyone aged 12 or over.

For optimal protection from a severe case of COVID-19 and hospitalisation, a booster is recommended for everyone aged 65 or over, in particular:

  • people aged 75 or over
  • people aged 65 or over with chronic diseases that put them at the highest risk of getting a severe case of COVID-19;
  • residents and people being looked after in nursing homes, care homes and day care facilities for older adults.

In those aged under 65, the booster can increase protection from infection and mild disease as well as from rare severe cases of the disease and their consequences of catching COVID-19 (e.g. long COVID, missing work). It can also help temporarily reduce circulation of the virus. The booster vaccination is therefore recommended for everyone aged between 16 and 64, in particular:

  • people at especially high risk aged under 65 with chronic diseases that put them at the highest risk of getting a severe case of COVID-19.
  • residents and people under 65 being looked after in nursing homes, care homes and day care facilities for older adults.
  • healthcare workers with direct patient contact and carers of people at especially high risk.

The booster is recommended for adolescents aged 12 to 15 if they want to increase their protection from infection and mild illness and reduce the risk of transmission to close contacts (members of their household). If an infection occurred from 4 months after initial immunisation, no booster vaccination is recommended.

The booster is also recommended for pregnant women from the 2nd trimester and women who are breastfeeding.

In principle, the same vaccine should preferably be used for the booster as for the primary vaccination course. The other mRNA vaccine can be used. The recommendation is for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be favoured for boosters for those aged from 18 to 29. The recommendation is for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be used for the booster for those aged from 12 to 17. The cantons are responsible for carrying out the booster vaccinations. If a booster vaccination is recommended for you, you can register for an appointment. Visit the website or call the Infoline for your canton to find out where you should register and where you can get vaccinated. Alternatively, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Booster vaccination with an mRNA vaccine (PDF, 286 kB, 10.11.2021)

You can find more information about booster vaccination here and in the FAQ.

COVID-19 Vaccination Check – information on access to the COVID-19 vaccination and booster jab

Do you want to get a COVID-19 vaccine? Or are you already fully vaccinated and want to find out about getting a booster? The COVID-19 Vaccination Check lets you check online in just a few steps whether and where you can access the vaccination, and refers you to the point of contact in your canton or to your GP or specialist doctor.

Important:

  • The COVID-19 Vac-check in no way substitutes individual medical advice.
  • Use of the COVID-19 Vac-check can be completed anonymously.

You will find more information on the COVID-19 vaccination here or you can call the national infoline coronavirus (Mon-Fri 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.) on +41 58 463 00 00

Go to the COVID-19 Vaccination Check

Vaccination strategy: Who can get vaccinated?

The primary objective of vaccination against COVID-19 is to protect people who are at especially high risk and thereby prevent serious illnesses and deaths. The second objective is to reduce the burden on hospitals and care homes and ensure that the health system continues to function properly. The third, and last, objective is to reduce the negative consequences of the pandemic and stem the spread of the virus.

Recommendations for children

Vaccination is recommended for children from age 5 to 11 whose parents or legal guardians wish them to have it on the basis of an individual risk assessment. It is advised to assess the risks and benefits in each individual case. You can find answers to the most important questions in this fact sheet.

The recommendation applies particularly to:

  • Children with a chronic illness
  • Children who are close contacts (e.g. household members) of people at high risk, especially people with a weakened immune system.

The vaccination is only recommended for children who have already had a coronavirus infection if they belong to groups mentioned above. No vaccination is currently recommended for any other children who have recovered from COVID-19.

This is a specially manufactured children’s vaccine. The dosage is lower than in the vaccine for people age 12 and over.

Recommendations for adolescents

The vaccination is recommended for all young people aged 12 and over. The vaccine protects against frequent mild and very rare severe cases of COVID-19. It also helps to avoid the negative consequences of any protective measures and the consequences of frequent exposure (e.g. at school or in leisure time).
The recommendation applies in particular to

  • adolescents with a chronic illness
  • adolescents who are close contacts (e.g. household members) of people at especially high risk, particularly of people with a weakened immune system
  • adolescents living in communal facilities where there is a higher risk of infection and outbreaks of the disease.

Adolescents should preferably be vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Further information about vaccinating young people is also provided in the fact sheet for young people and in the FAQ.

Recommendations for pregnant women

Vaccination against COVID-19 with an mRNA vaccine authorised in Switzerland is recommended for all women before and during pregnancy (from the 13th week of pregnancy) and during breastfeeding. Women who are trying for a baby should get vaccinated as soon as possible. Women who are already pregnant and have not yet been vaccinated are advised to get a jab from 12 weeks of pregnancy (i.e. from the 2nd trimester). The benefits of vaccination during pregnancy significantly outweigh the potential risks. In principle, vaccination is also possible at an earlier stage of pregnancy.

Vaccination before and during pregnancy protects both mother and unborn child. Pregnant women are much more likely to suffer severe symptoms of COVID-19 than their non-pregnant peers. The risk of premature birth is also significantly higher if they are infected with coronavirus during pregnancy.

There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines adversely affect fertility in men or women. If you still have unanswered questions, talk to your doctor, gynaecologist or midwife at your next routine check-up or consultation.

Recommendations for people recovered from COVID-19

The vaccination is also recommended if you have recovered from COVID. You are protected from renewed infection for a certain period of time, but it is not clear how long for. We recommend that you have the vaccination within three months of infection to give you long-term protection. From 4 weeks after a confirmed coronavirus infection, one dose of vaccine is sufficient for initial immunisation. You do not have to have a second dose.

Was the infection more than three months ago? If so, you should get vaccinated as soon as possible. In this situation too, you only required one vaccine dose for initial immunisation.

There are exceptions for people at especially high risk. For more information about this please consult your doctor.

You will find information on the booster vaccination in the Booster vaccination: important questions and answers section.

 

Exceptions

  • People at especially high risk should be vaccinated three months after the illness, likewise with only one dose of vaccine.
  • People at especially high risk with a weakened immune system should be vaccinated after three months. They receive two doses of vaccine at an interval of around four weeks.

An antibody test should not be done and is explicitly not recommended. This is because an antibody test gives no indication of how long someone is immune after a confirmed infection.

This Swiss Vaccination Strategy, the vaccination objectives and the prioritisation of the target groups are all based on the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO). They do not differ significantly from the vaccination strategies of other countries, for example France, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.