It didn’t work without a touch of “Glanz & Gloria”, at least not in Zurich: Actor Walter Andreas Müller and writer Franz Hohler were among the first to be vaccinated on Monday in the most populous canton. As role models, they should encourage others. With Zurich, around a dozen cantons officially began vaccinating on Monday. As of this week, vaccinations will be carried out in practically all cantons. Bern doesn’t start until January 11th.
Who and how is vaccinated?
That differs from canton to canton. While vaccination centers have started operations in Basel-Stadt and Baselland or in Zurich, other cantons are currently concentrating on sending mobile teams to the old people’s homes. In a first step, people over the age of 75 and those with serious previous illnesses are vaccinated.
How did you get off to a successful start?
Anything but smooth.
The -vaccination software purchased by the federal government creates problems. Various cantons, such as Aargau, Solothurn or Thurgau, are not using it for the time being – because it is not yet operational. Some of the cantons are now working with their own solutions. Elsewhere, the software was overloaded when it was first used, namely in Zurich.
The -federal government and the cantons had known for months that they needed vaccination software. Why wasn’t it taken care of earlier?
Sang-Il Kim, head of the Digital Transformation department at the BAG, wrote on request that they had been in contact with providers since September. However, it was always clear that the vaccination strategy and recommendations had to be defined so that the software could support the process.
The -vaccination strategy was only available at the beginning of December, the recommendations even later.
What about the vaccination readiness?
How much vaccine does Switzerland currently have available?
Only the vaccine from the Pfizer / Biontech duo is currently approved. 107,000 cans were already delivered in December. From this month onwards, another 250,000 will be added, with the first half of the January cans arriving on Monday. Because two vaccinations are required for effective protection, the Pfizer / Biontech vaccine will last for around 178,500 people by the end of January – and not far. Because there are around 756,000 people over 75 years of age in Switzerland, around 1.6 million over 65 – and around 620,000 under 65 with previous illnesses.
How many cans has the federal government ordered in total?
Switzerland has so far signed contracts with three vaccine manufacturers.
The -Pfizer / Biontech duo will deliver around 3 million cans, the federal government will receive 7.5 million from Moderna and around 5.3 million from Astrazeneca. In total, this is 15.8 million doses, with which 7.9 million people can be vaccinated. As with Pfizer and Moderna, studies with the Astrazeneca vaccine show that two full doses provide the best protection.
The -economy is also criticizing the slow start of vaccination. “It can’t go fast enough,” said Rudolf Minsch, chief economist of the Economiesuisse business association of “NZZ am Sonntag”. Does everyone see it that way?
No. Trade association director Hans-Ulrich Bigler describes the debate as polemical. «I cannot understand the criticism from Economiesuisse. No sooner has vaccination started in Switzerland than the criticism begins. I think that’s out of place. ” After all, this is a major logistical exercise. It is therefore clear that it will take some time at the beginning before the vaccination campaign really gets going. As soon as new vaccines arrive, the action will accelerate.
The -trade association expects the campaign to be completed by the end of June or the beginning of July at the latest, Bigler says. This will prevent travelers from introducing the virus on their return. That is a sporty timetable, but feasible.
With 7.5 million doses, Switzerland has ordered the most vaccinations from the US biotech company Moderna. When is admission to be expected?
The -data we have to date on safety, effectiveness and quality are not yet sufficient for approval,” says a spokesman. As soon as the data is correct, further requests can be decided on in a timely manner. Well-informed sources say that in the best case scenario, admission can be expected by the end of the week or by mid-January.
In the US, Moderna received preliminary authorization for the vaccine in mid-December. When will it happen in Europe?
The -first meetings have already taken place today, as a spokesman for the EMA says according to the British newspaper “
Great Britain has changed its vaccination strategy. Originally, the second dose of Pfizer vaccine should be given three weeks after the first dose. Now the British government says the time span could be up to twelve weeks. What is to be made of it?
Several experts see this critically. These include leading US virologist Anthony Fauci. “ If we wait about 50 or 70 days instead of the planned 28, then we don’t know if that’s good enough,” he said on the US talk show “ Meet the Press” on Sunday. It is clear “what science tells us,” says Fauci. “ We should proceed with the vaccination as it was done in the clinical studies.” These were designed in such a way that the second dose of the Pfizer product was vaccinated after 21 days. With the Moderna vaccine, this was the case after 28 days.