Switzerland to donate 4 million doses of vaccine to Covax

The Confederation will donate four million doses of AstraZeneca’s anti-Covid-19 vaccine to the WHO’s Covax initiative. It thus intends to make a “significant contribution” to the overall fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Council announced on Wednesday.

Switzerland will hand over to the Covax program most of the approximately 5.4 million doses of vaccine ordered from AstraZeneca (illustrative image).

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The large inequalities in the global distribution of vaccines suggest that the pandemic will last for some time on a global scale, explains the government.

Switzerland, which relies mainly on messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines, has enough doses to protect its population. She will only keep 1.4 million doses of AstraZeneca’s viral vector vaccine out of the 5.4 million she has ordered.

These will be intended primarily for people who cannot or do not want to receive an mRNA vaccine, as well as those who have received a first dose of the AstraZeneca product abroad. These vaccines will be available as soon as Swissmedic has authorized the product and the FOPH and the Federal Commission for Vaccinations have published the corresponding vaccination recommendation.

Fair solution

Switzerland has been committed since the start of the pandemic for a global and equitable solution in terms of the distribution of vaccines against Covid-19, underlines the Federal Council. It was committed during the creation of Covax by taking the head with Singapore of a group of friendly states to ensure the operation of this program.

Bern paid Covax 20 million francs last year for 92 low-income countries. The Federal Council also decided in April to provide additional support of 300 million francs to the “ACT Accelerator” initiative aimed at accelerating access to tools to fight Covid-19. Of this sum, 125 million francs will go to Covax.

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Launched in April 2020 under the aegis of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Covax initiative intends to provide up to two billion doses to participating countries this year. It was able to start distributing the first doses to low- and middle-income countries in February 2021. So far, a total of 131 countries have received more than 88 million doses.

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