After ordering millions of doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, Switzerland has decided to stick to using only the two mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna and donate its doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to other countries.
According to Virginie Masserey, head of infectious disease control at Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the federal government is planning to donate nearly all of its AstraZeneca vaccine doses.
Currently, only the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been authorised for use in Switzerland and there are no supply constraints on these vaccines.
Masserey said that the government was examining the possibility of giving its doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to other nations if they are not required in Switzerland. She said it would make no sense for the vaccines to be delivered to Switzerland and potentially destroyed. The fight against Covid-19 is international, she added.
The possibility of giving 3 million of Switzerland’s 5.3 million AstraZeneca doses to Covax, an initiative to get vaccines to countries with less financial resources, is currently being explored. The government is already in contact with Gavi, the EU and vaccine manufacturers to work out how to proceed once a final decision has been taken. A certain number of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine would be reserved for anyone in Switzerland who is allergic to mRNA vaccines, said Masserey.