On 29 September 2021, Switzerland’s government announced it had signed a contract with Johnson & Johnson to receive 150,000 doses of its Covid-19 vaccine. The delivery of the doses is expected next week.
The viral vector vaccine will be used primarily on people who cannot receive mRNA vaccines for medical reasons. However, it will also be made available to those who prefer such vaccines, said the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).
The vaccine, produced by Janssen, which is part of the Johnson & Johnson group, will be the third Covid-19 vaccine to be used in Switzerland after the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA shots.
The FOPH recommends people from the age of 12 get vaccinated with an mRNA product. These vaccines offer very high protection. The Janssen vaccines is recommended for those 18 and older who cannot receive mRNA vaccines for medical reasons or for whatever other reason refuse to be vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine. This recommendation does not apply to pregnant women or those suffering from immunodeficiency. For these people the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are still recommended.
Given in a single dose, the Janssen vaccine, which is based on a modified human adenovirus. offers a very good level of protection, said FOPH. Swissmedic, Switzerland’s authority responsible for the authorisation and supervision of therapeutic products, authorised the Janssen vaccine on 22 March 2021.
Switzerland trails much of western Europe on vaccinations. With 63% fully (57.3%) or partially (5.8%) vaccinated Switzerland trails Germany (67%), the UK (72%), France (74%), Italy (75%) and Spain (81%).