Vaccinations have been underway in Switzerland since January 2021. All adults can request an appointment to get vaccinated.

  • Where can I request a vaccination appointment?
  • Why should i get vaccinated?
  • When can I get vaccinated?
  • Should the recovered people get vaccinated?
  • Do young people under the age of 16 need to be vaccinated?
  • Do pregnant women need to get vaccinated?
  • How is vaccination documented?
  • How is vaccination documented?
  • When are you fully vaccinated?
  • What are the benefits of vaccinated people?
  • Which vaccines has Switzerland contracted for?
  • How does the purchase, development and approval of vaccines take place?
  • What is a vaccination?
  • Key figures on COVID-19 vaccination
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  • Information for health professionals
  • Documents

Infoline vaccination COVID-19

New number: +41 800 88 66 44

Number still valid today: +41 58 377 88 92

every day from 6 to 23

News

An anti-COVID-19 vaccination for young people between the ages of 12 and 15 will predictably be possible from July 2021. Vaccination is optional for the entire population. So far, only the vaccine from Pfizer / BioNTech has been approved for the 12 to 15 age group in Switzerland. According to the Confederation’s vaccination strategy, priority access to vaccination continues to be given to people in order of decreasing age. The risk of contracting a severe COVID-19 disease increases with age.

The Confederation and the cantons will inform as soon as there is a vaccination recommendation for young people between the ages of 12 and 15 and vaccination is available for this age group.

Where can I request a vaccination appointment?

The cantons are responsible for carrying out vaccinations. On the canton’s website you will find information on the organization of vaccination at cantonal level and how you can register. The list of cantonal websites is available here: ufsp-coronavirus.ch .

Why should i get vaccinated?

Here are seven good reasons to get vaccinated:

  • protect yourself from COVID-19 and a possible serious course of the disease;
  • acquire immunity safely;
  • help reduce the number of sick people;
  • to help combat the effects of the pandemic;
  • avoid possible long-term health problems of COVID-19 disease (post COVID-19 syndrome); help relieve the health sector;
  • help relieve the health sector;
  • contribute to regaining freedoms in daily life.

When can I get vaccinated?

In addition to the initially given priority target groups 1 and 2, vaccination is already open to the general population in most cantons (including target groups 3, 4 and 5).

Attention : the vaccination process is the responsibility of the cantons, which decide which vaccination strategy to adopt at the cantonal level and how to prioritize.

According to the COVID-19 vaccination strategy, vaccination is planned for the following target groups in this order:

  • Target group 1: people at particular risk
  • Target group 2: healthcare personnel in contact with patients / personnel assisting people at particular risk
  • Target group 3: close contacts (members of the same household, family carers) of people at particular risk
  • Target group 4: people residing in collective facilities with a high risk of infection and outbreak (eg institutions for disabled people).
  • Target group 5: adults who do not fall into target groups 1 to 4.

In Switzerland, vaccinations are optional. There is no requirement for COVID-19 vaccination. You can decide for yourself whether or not to undergo the vaccination.

 

Should the recovered people get vaccinated?

Details on vaccinating recovered people can be found in the  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) .

Do young people under the age of 16 need to be vaccinated?

Vaccination is not currently provided for children and young people under the age of 16. No relevant study data are yet available for this age group. Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are not yet approved in Switzerland for children and young people.

 

Do pregnant women need to get vaccinated?

Vaccination is recommended in the presence of certain forms of  chronic diseases (PDF, 178 kB, 10.05.2021)  at risk of a severe course of COVID-19 or if there is a high risk of contagion (e.g. healthcare workers). At present, generalized vaccination of pregnant women is not recommended. If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor.

How is vaccination documented?

The costs of a COVID-19 vaccination are covered by the Compulsory Health Care Insurance (AOMS). Costs not covered by the AOMS are financed by the Confederation and the cantons.

Have you taken out compulsory health insurance in Switzerland? Then the vaccination is free for you. You do not have to pay either the deductible or the percentage rate.

Have you not taken out compulsory health insurance in Switzerland? Then the COVID-19 vaccination is also free for you if:

  • you have your domicile or habitual residence in Switzerland (this applies, for example, to persons working for a diplomatic or consular representation or for an international organization and their family members, posted workers, students or pensioners);
  • you are gainfully employed in Switzerland as a cross-border commuter and because of your activity you are exposed to a risk of contagion (e.g. healthcare personnel in contact with patients and nursing and nursing home care staff). Contact your employer for more detailed information on organizing vaccinations.

For these groups of people, the costs of COVID-19 vaccination are borne by the Confederation.

Costs are not covered for people who do not belong to the groups of people listed. This is the case, for example, for tourists or Swiss abroad who are not affiliated with health insurance in Switzerland. Vaccination of these people against COVID-19 must be done in their country of residence.

Detailed information on financing COVID-19 vaccination is available on the page for health professionals .

How is vaccination documented?

Every COVID-19 vaccination is documented. Here you will find information on the various possibilities for vaccination documentation.

Vaccination certificate / Vaccination certificate

At most vaccination centers, after being vaccinated, you receive a paper vaccination certificate from the specialist, containing the place and date of vaccination as well as information on the vaccine administered (trade name, manufacturer, batch number). At some vaccination facilities, you can also have COVID-19 vaccinations recorded in the vaccination certificate (“vaccination booklet”).

The certificate / certificate of vaccination is a medical attestation and not an official document.

COVID certificate

Information is available on the COVID certificate page .

When are you fully vaccinated?

Fully vaccinated means (from 31.5.2021):

1. You have been vaccinated in accordance with the vaccination recommendations of the FOPH and the Federal Vaccination Commission (CFV) with a vaccine approved in Switzerland. This means that:

  • you have received two doses of the vaccine,
    or
  • you have passed a coronavirus infection (confirmed by a PCR, rapid antigen or antibody test) and have received a dose of the vaccine at least four weeks after passing it.

2. You have received a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency of the European Union, administered according to the prescriptions or recommendations of the state where the vaccination was carried out.

 

What are the benefits of vaccinated people?

If you are fully vaccinated with a licensed mRNA vaccine, you are exempt from the following:

  • Contact Quarantine Exemption : You must not quarantine yourself following close contact with a test positive person for six months after full vaccination. More information is available on the Isolation and Quarantine page ;
  • exemption from quarantine for travelers and other border health measures:  information on this is available on the page  Entry into Switzerland ;
  • Facilitation for private meetings : if you meet in private with other people who are already fully vaccinated, you can do without observing the social distancing and the use of the mask.

These exemptions are possible as current data show that transmission of the virus to other people after full vaccination is minimal. However, the contagion protection offered by vaccination is not one hundred percent. This is why it is important to continue to follow the  rules of hygiene and behavior  to contain the spread of the coronavirus. All national rules and prohibitions , such as the obligation to wear a maskthroughout Switzerland or the provisions relating to the restriction of persons to events in the family circle or of friends (eg meetings and parties) continue to apply to vaccinated persons as well. It remains important to get tested in case of symptoms. Further information on this is available on the Test page  .

Which vaccines has Switzerland contracted for?

Homologated vaccines

Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine

  • Vaccine name: Comirnaty®
  • Homologation: December 19, 2020
  • Country where the manufacturer is based: United States and Germany
  • Vaccine type: mRNA vaccine
  • Dosage: two doses of the vaccine
  • Effectiveness: 95 percent protection from disease
  • Age limit: from 12 years old

Moderna vaccine

  • Vaccine name: COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna®
  • Homologation: January 12, 2021
  • Country where the manufacturer is based: United States
  • Vaccine type: mRNA vaccine
  • Dosage: two doses of the vaccine
  • Effectiveness: 94 percent protection from disease
  • Age limit: from 18 years old

The Swissmedic video explains how an mRNA vaccine, such as Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna, works.

Vaccines with validation procedure in progress

AstraZeneca vaccine

  • Vaccine name: not yet known
  • Authorization: Authorization procedure pending at Swissmedic
  • Country where the manufacturer is based: Great Britain
  • Vaccine type: vector vaccine
  • Dosage: not yet known
  • Efficacy: Studies are still ongoing
  • Age limit: not yet known

The Swissmedic video explains how a vector vaccine, such as that of AstraZeneca, works.

Curevac vaccine

  • Vaccine name: not yet known
  • Approval: not yet known
  • Country where the manufacturer is based: Germany
  • Vaccine type: mRNA vaccine
  • Dosage: two doses of the vaccine
  • Efficacy: Studies are still ongoing
  • Age limit: not yet known

Vaccines under development

Novavax vaccine

  • Vaccine name: not yet known
  • Approval: not yet known
  • Country where the manufacturer is based: United States
  • Type of vaccine: protein-based vaccine
  • Dosage: two doses of the vaccine
  • Efficacy: Studies are still ongoing
  • Age limit: not yet known

How does the purchase, development and approval of vaccines take place?

Purchase of vaccines by Switzerland

The Confederation continues to dialogue with the various manufacturers. In fact, since the development and manufacture of vaccines are linked to factors of uncertainty, the Confederation takes various paths to obtain them, also engaging internationally. It also intends to purchase as many vaccine types as possible to increase the chances of getting a vaccine that is as effective as possible for different target groups.

Contracts with vaccine manufacturers

The Confederation has concluded contracts with five vaccine manufacturers. If a vaccine has been approved by Swissmedic, Switzerland receives the number of vaccine doses it has reserved by contract. Vaccine manufacturers deliver the doses that have been reserved staggered over several months. Therefore, only a limited number of doses are available initially.

  • Novavax: 6 million doses
  • Curevac: 5 million doses
  • Pfizer / BioNTech: 6 million doses
  • AstraZeneca: 5.3 million doses
  • Modern: 13.5 million doses for 2021/7 million for 2022

In addition, Switzerland gains additional access to vaccines as it participates in the COVAX program. For more information on the COVAX program, click on the link below.

 International commitment: COVAX program

Development of a vaccine

Developing and manufacturing vaccines is a complex and long process. The requirements in terms of quality, efficacy and above all safety are high. For this, the manufacture of a vaccine has to go through several stages of development. Only if one phase gives good results does the vaccine move on to the next stage of further development.

Stages of development

1. Preclinical phase

The vaccine is tested first in the laboratory and then on animals.

2. Clinical phase

This phase is divided into three parts:

Clinical phase I:

On a small sample of healthy volunteers it is examined for the first time how the human being reacts to the vaccine and what dosages it tolerates. Dosage refers to the number of doses and the quantities administered. In this phase, even the first recurrent side effects can be identified.

Clinical Phase II:

At this stage the vaccine is tested on several hundred volunteers. The aim is to determine whether the vaccine induces the desired immunity and what dosage is appropriate. Data are also collected on the frequency and severity of possible side effects.

Clinical phase III:

The vaccine is tested on several thousand volunteers. The aim is to determine whether the vaccine actually protects against the disease. In addition, rare risks and side effects are identified and it is evaluated to which population and age groups to administer it.

If the vaccine manufacturer submits an application for approval, Swissmedic verifies the results of clinical steps I – III and, if it confirms the efficacy, safety and quality of the vaccine, issues the approval for its placing on the market in Switzerland.

The approval is followed by a vaccination recommendation for the population, developed in collaboration with the Federal Commission for Vaccinations CFV . A vaccination is only recommended if its benefit, in terms of preventing diseases and their complications, far outweighs the risk of side effects.

3. Follow-up studies (Phase IV)

Even after the vaccine has been approved, manufacturers must ensure its safety, efficacy and quality; regularly check for any rare or serious side effects and, if so, notify Swissmedic. It also investigates the tolerability of the vaccine in population groups that were not included in previous studies.  

Approval in Switzerland

Swissmedic is responsible for authorization in Switzerland and decides whether or not to approve a vaccine. If its effectiveness, safety and quality are confirmed, it grants approval for marketing in Switzerland.

What is a vaccination?

Vaccinations are the most effective protection against dangerous infectious diseases and reduce the risk of contagion and disease in vaccinated people. Furthermore, many of them also protect against the transmission of pathogens to other people, indirectly protecting even those who are not vaccinated.

With vaccination, the immune system “gets acquainted” with the pathogen without it causing the disease. In this way, the organism produces specific antibodies and is ready to cope with a real case of infection. When the vaccinated person comes into contact with the pathogen, their immune system will quickly recognize it and can render it harmless.

More information on the topic on the Vaccinations and prophylaxis page .

Leave a Comment