Switzerland will have received 8.1 million doses of vaccine between April and the end of July. The manufacturers, Pfizer and Moderna, have ensured the on-time delivery of the purchased quantities and promise to step up the pace. People wishing to be vaccinated will be able to be by this summer. Swissmedic expects the approval of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to be imminent. The cantons are ready: they hope to have precise delivery dates as soon as possible in order to open additional vaccination centers as soon as possible. In August, finally, the restrictions due to the virus should no longer be justified.
These are in substance the messages that were transmitted by the political authorities during a press point, in the company of the management of Pfizer and Moderna in Switzerland, Thursday in Bern. The vaccination campaign began on December 23 in Switzerland. In January half a million doses were delivered, a figure which rose to 640,000 in February, and will have reached 1 million by March. In April, the Confederation should have received 1.5 million doses, then 3 million per month in May and June.
Moderna will provide 300,000 doses
“A year ago, Moderna had no industrial tool in Europe. We were able to set up a factory with Lonza to deliver the world outside the United States from Switzerland, ”said Dan Staner, director of Moderna in Switzerland. “We will be able to confirm our commitments to the Confederation and deliver more than 300,000 doses to Switzerland as of next week.” The senior executive also points out that the Confederation is among the first three nations to have signed a contract for the delivery of its vaccine, as of August.
“Our vaccine was developed in record time without compromising on safety and quality,” says Sabine Bruckner, Director of Pfizer in Switzerland. “Pfizer has entered into an additional contract for the delivery of 3 million doses with the federal government.”
The President of the Confederation, Guy Parmelin, recalled the stakes: “Each month, we can save 800 lives from the pandemic, 700 fewer cases in intensive care and 3,600 hospitalizations. Financially, the pandemic costs 750 million francs per month. Put together, it’s 50 million francs a day that are earned, ”he said. “We have secured 8.1 million doses by the end of July”, welcomes Alain Berset.
Virginie Masserey, head of the Infection Control and Vaccination Program section at the OFSP, underlines, for her part, that “20 to 25% of the population does not want to be vaccinated. It is believed that 5.3 million people want to be vaccinated. With 10.5 million doses this summer, which will have to be administered twice, we will have enough to do it. We will still have contaminations in August but, if all goes well, we will no longer be able to justify blocking the economy and social freedom. ”
As for the cantons, we also want to be reassuring. “The cantons are ready and those who are not will be,” according to Vaudoise Rebecca Ruiz, vice-president of the Conference of Cantonal Directors of Health. “The cantons cannot afford to open vaccination centers if there are no doses,” she said. They must, and can, open them as quickly as possible. To do this, they must be able to know the delivery dates as precisely as possible. “
This campaign, described as “the largest in Swiss history”, is a challenge, but Switzerland made the right bets by quickly betting on messenger RNA vaccines, according to Alain Berset. “Risk-taking pays off,” according to Dan Staner.
At this time, CureVac and Novavax have not submitted an authorization request in Switzerland. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was approved by Swissmedic but Bern did not order any, in particular because any deliveries would not have been made before the end of the year. According to Philippe Girard, deputy director of Swissmedic, AstraZeneca’s application for its vaccine against Covid-19 could “be accepted in a few days” if the laboratory provides it with some additional data. This vaccine is controversial because deliveries in Europe are too small, but also because some patients have developed blood clots following its administration.
Time is running out because the number of infections increased by 19.1% last week in Switzerland compared to the previous one. From March 15 to 21, a total of 10,481 laboratory-confirmed cases were declared, against 8,803 the previous week, according to the FOPH report published on Thursday.