On 23 November 2021, Swissmedic, Switzerland’s drug approval agency, authorised third doses of the Pfizer vaccine for everyone 16 and over. Previously, booster shots of the vaccine were only approved for the vulnerable from 12 in Switzerland.
Swissmedic announced that after reviewing the data it is adapting the information for healthcare professionals for the Covid-19 mRNA vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty®), clearing the way for use of the vaccine as a booster for everyone 16 and over. High-risk individuals can still obtain a booster dose from age 12, it said.
The data reviewed included a study with 10,000 participants aged 16 to 87, which gave no indication of new risk aspects for the vaccine.
Booster shots are to be given at least 6 months after the second shot.
A number of experts have sounded the alarm on the urgent need for booster shots in Switzerland. Huldrych Günthard, an infectious diseases specialist in Zurich, told the SonntagsZeitung recently that he thought it was incomprehensible that those over 65 hadn’t already received a third dose, reported RTS. Günthard thinks Switzerland has been much too slow rolling out Covid booster shots.
On 23 November 2021, 6,354 new cases were reported in Switzerland, a figure 31% higher than the average number reported over the proceeding three days.