Switzerland has a vaccination against the corona virus. The program will start in a few days, says Federal Councilor Alain Berset.
Which vaccine has Swissmedic approved? Swissmedic approves the vaccine from Biontech / Pfizer as the first vaccine for Switzerland against the new coronavirus. After examining the available data, the vaccination protection is over 90 percent seven days after the second vaccination, the Swiss Therapeutic Products Institute states. As far as the application is concerned, Swissmedic comes to the conclusion “that the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer / Biontech is safe.” The approval is the first in the world to be granted in an ordinary process.
When does the vaccination program start? Now the recommendations of the Federal Vaccination Commission (Ekif) are needed before vaccination can start. Health Minister Alain Berset says vaccination will start in the next few days. The vaccination is not mandatory.
Who can vaccinate? People over 16 years of age can be vaccinated against the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) – two vaccinations at least 21 days apart are recommended for optimal vaccination protection. The plan of the FOPH: Particularly vulnerable people (without pregnant women) are vaccinated first. Then the health staff with patient contact and the care staff for people who are particularly at risk. Then household members of particularly vulnerable people. Afterwards people in communal facilities with an increased risk of infection and outbreak and their staff and finally all other adults.
What about the side effects? As far as possible side effects are concerned, Swissmedic promises close monitoring. If “safety signals” should appear, measures would be taken immediately. The most common side effects documented in the approval studies are reactions that are comparable to the side effects of a flu vaccination. There are known cases in the US and UK of people having had an allergic reaction after being vaccinated with the Pfizer / Biontech vaccine. Two were known in advance that they suffered from severe allergies. At least one middle-aged woman had no known problems with allergies, as the New York Times reported., Link opens in a new window
What do we know about long-term side effects? Serious, permanent side effects are not yet known, but only a longer study period can offer one hundred percent security. From experience with other vaccines one has to say: If you vaccinate half the world with these vaccines, then somewhere in a person there will be a serious side effect. You have to expect that.
Can’t I infect anyone after the vaccination? When the pharmaceutical company Biontech speaks of an effectiveness of well over 90 percent, it does not mean 90 percent total protection against infection, but that they have proven that they can protect the vaccinated against the disease to well over 90 percent. That is a key distinction. It is not a total protection against infection. That means: if I am vaccinated, I cannot be sure that I will not become infected, and also not whether I will then become infectious. It is likely that the risk will be reduced.
Does the vaccine change our DNA? No. The vaccine consists of a form of genetic material that is also found in our cells, but not DNA, but mRNA. In our cells, mRNA is used to make copies of DNA, and that copy is then pushed out of the nucleus. And there, in the cell plasma, it is then read and cell components built according to the plan. The vaccine puts mRNA under the cell, so to speak, with the blueprint for virus spikes, so that the cell builds virus spikes, which then trigger the immune response. This mRNA is recognized by the cell as mRNA, read and then broken down fairly quickly – just like the cell does with its own mRNA. There are viruses that can ensure that their RNA is incorporated into our DNA, but they bring their own tools with them, so to speak, and this tool, which the vaccine lacks.