Who will pay for Covid-19 vaccines in Switzerland?

Who will pay for Covid-19 vaccines in Switzerland?
No decision has yet been taken about who will pay for the Covid vaccine. Photo by AFP
Swiss health officials expect the vaccine to be ready for use in the first half of 2021. But they have not yet decided whether the government, health insurance or patients themselves will have to pay for the shot.

The exact price has not yet been determined either, because it is not yet clear which vaccine will be used in Switzerland.

Several vaccines are now being tested but “since it is still not clear which ones will ultimately prevail, the government is taking a diversified approach,” authorities said. 

However, it is estimated that a corona vaccination will probably cost around 40 francs. 

Jonas Montani, a spokesperson for the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), said that the question of costs is “still being clarified”.

For comparison, a flu shot costs 30 francs but is paid for by health insurance for people over the age of 65, those suffering from serious chronic illnesses, pregnant women, as well as premature infants.

But Enea Martinelli, chief pharmacist at a chain of regional hospitals Spitäler fmi AG, said the cost should not be passed on to private individuals.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: When will Switzerland roll out a Covid-19 vaccine?

 

As the goal is to vaccinate as many people as possible — the so-called ‘herd’ immunity can be achieved only if at least 60 percent of the population is vaccinated — “paying out of your own pocket may discourage people from getting the vaccine”, he said. 

The Federal Council announced on November 11th that it would increase the budget for the purchase of a Covid-19 vaccine by 100 million francs to 400 million francs. 

The government has already signed contracts with two pharma companies to buy their coronavirus vaccines.

In August, it secured 4.5 million doses of the vaccine produce by the American company Moderna, and in mid-October it ordered up to 5.3 million doses from the multinational pharma firm AstraZeneca.

The federal government has also placed a “binding reservation” for around three million doses for the currently most advanced vaccine from Biontech / Pfizer.

 

 


 


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