The primary objective of vaccination against COVID-19 is to protect people who are at especially high risk and thereby reduce 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.
Accordingly, priority for the COVID-19 vaccination will be given to the following target groups (in decreasing order):
- People who are at especially high risk (pregnant women as a group are not included at this point)
- Healthcare personnel with patient contact and carers of persons at especially high risk
- Close contacts (household members, family carers) of people at especially high risk
- People in communal facilities with an increased risk of infection and outbreaks (e.g. homes for the disabled).
Availability of the vaccines being initially limited, the following persons are eligible for a vaccination appointment first:
- Persons aged 75 and older
- Persons suffering from chronic diseases with the highest risk for a severe course of the disease, irrespective of age
- Persons living in a retirement or care home. Healthcare workers in contact with residents of retirement and care homes are eligible for vaccination at the same time.
If sufficient amounts of vaccine are available, all other adults aged 16 and over (Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine) or 18 and over (Moderna vaccine) will be able to be vaccinated.
These people can then be vaccinated at the same time as group 3, in order of descending age. This is possible because most vulnerable people have already been vaccinated and are therefore very well protected from getting the disease. Also, the risk of a severe case if infected with the new coronavirus increases with age.
Children and adolescents: There are no plans as yet to vaccinate children and adolescents. The corresponding study data are still lacking for these groups.
Pregnant women: In the case of certain forms of chronic illnesses with a risk of a severe course of a Covid-19 illness or people who are at an increased risk of infection (for example healthcare personnel), a vaccination during pregnancy might be advisable. Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant and have a chronic illness.
People recovered from COVID-19 : We recommend you get vaccinated even if you have already had the new coronavirus. The data suggests that you are protected from renewed infection for at least six months. We recommend being vaccinated with one dose of vaccine six month after the illness. You do not have to have a second dose.
This gives an additional boost to the immune system so that you are optimally protected.
- Particularly vulnerable people should be vaccinated already three months after the illness, likewise with only one dose of vaccine.
- Particularly vulnerable people 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.
Although vaccination protects people from contracting the illness, it is still not known whether it will also protect against transmission of coronavirus. Until further notice, the Rules on hygiene and social distancing are important for protecting yourself and others from coronavirus.