On Tuesday afternoon, the first delivery of coronavirus vaccines – 107,000 doses – arrived in Switzerland.
While the official mass vaccination scheme is set to start on January 4th, some cantons will start the vaccination process as early as the 23rd of December.
Some, it has been revealed, will not start their vaccination campaigns until later – with Vaud, Nidwalden and Graubünden set to start on January 11th at the earliest.
According to Swiss daily 20 Minutes, Appenzell Innerrhoden and Lucerne will start vaccinating high-risk individuals on Wednesday, December 23rd.
Several other central Swiss cantons hope to start vaccinations on the same day as well, including Uri, Schwyz, Zug and Obwalden.
What will be the rollout process throughout Switzerland?
Launching a vaccination programme “is extremely complicated logistically”, Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset said.
This is due to the infrastructure that must be set up to store, distribute, and administer the vaccines.
“In recent months, we have prepared infrastructures with ultra-cold warehouses,” Aeschbach said.
“Once the vaccines are delivered, storage and vaccination will be the responsibility of cantonal authorities”.
If necessary, the military will also provide ice to safely store the doses, as most locations don’t have specialised freezers needed to keep the highly perishable vaccines at extremely low temperatures.
The Pfizer vaccine, for instance, has to be kept at -80 degrees Celsius.