100 million doses: Has the federal government been offered its own vaccine production?


The federal government is said to have had the opportunity to acquire its own production line for Covid-19 vaccines in Valais. That is what Lonza President Albert Baehny said in an interview with “NZZ am Sonntag”.

On May 1, 2020, Baehny is said to have submitted the idea to the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) in a meeting. In mid-March, the “Tages-Anzeiger” reported that Switzerland had been offered its own production line for the Moderna vaccine in Visp.

Federal Councilor Alain Berset denied the report at the time. “A year ago, the federal government received a letter from Lonza with the offer to take part in the vaccine production,” said Berset at the time. But there was never any talk of the federal government operating its own production facility.

Baehny now says that at a meeting on May 1st with a BAG delegation he explained the plans for three production lines in Visp with an investment volume of a good 180 million francs. “I told the delegation that I am not primarily looking for money that I would like to inform – in the hope of exploring common options,” says the Lonza boss. He has outlined some ideas to provide access to 100 million vaccine doses. For example, that thanks to Lonza-Moderna, Switzerland could strive for a leading role in the fight against Covid-19 and in the development of vaccines.

Thereafter, there was no further contact with the BAG in this regard. Alain Berset’s spokesman also replied to Baehny’s statements in the “NZZ am Sonntag”: “A production line just for Switzerland was not an issue.”

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million doses federal government offered vaccine production


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