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Switzerland cancels thousands of vaccination appointments after Moderna delivery delay

US vaccine company Moderna has informed Switzerland of upcoming delivery delays, forcing tens of thousands of appointments to be cancelled.

Switzerland cancels thousands of vaccination appointments after Moderna delivery delay
Photo: AFP

Moderna this week told Swiss authorities that it would be unable to deliver the promised 200,000 vaccine doses by the start of May. 

READ MORE: Swiss health experts recommend delaying second dose to speed up vaccination campaign

The news has thrown Switzerland’s cantonal rollout into disarray, with vaccination centres and doctors planning under the assumption that the doses would be received. 

Authorities have now begun the process of cancelling vaccination appointments in several cantons. 

According to Swiss news outlet NZZ, this has put into significant doubt Switzerland’s promise that all adults who wanted the vaccine would receive it by the end of June. 

The impact could be particularly significant given that cantons have been encouraged to use up their existing vaccine supply in anticipation that more would be arriving soon. 

Some cantons had already started vaccinating on Sundays, despite earlier indications that appointments would only be possible six days a week. 

READ MORE: Switzerland tells cantons to use up their vaccine reserves

Lucerne health director Guido Graf told the NZZ the delivery failure has undercut the canton’s ability to plan. 

“We cantons must have reliable planning data. Immediately. Ultimately, the population loses confidence not only in the canton, but also in the federal government. And that mustn’t happen.” He said. 

The doses will now arrive in June. 

Moderna will not face consequences for the delivery failure, NZZ reports, as vaccination companies are only obligated to deliver the promised vaccines within allocated quarterly periods. 

This means that no penalty will be due, provided the vaccine arrives by the end of June. 

Member comments

  1. As soon as the registration was opened in Canton Zurich, on March 29, 2021, I registered and received a code and a cryptogram. Since I did not get any news about the date and place, I called the special vaccination number several times to get inane replies without factual information. On the other hand, some of my neighbors have told me that they have received appointments to be vaccinated across the lake where we live, though we have a vaccination center in our village. I no longer have a car and have certainly no intention to travel miles to be vaccinated outside my village where we have a vaccination center (????). Since December 2019, I haven’t seen my children and grandchildren living in the UK. I have a lot of patience but at 71 without being arrogant and despite knowing I am not alone in this particular situation, I no longer have patience with this kind of incompetence from the Canton of Zurich. Why not tell the truth: we have not enough vaccine doses.

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Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival cancels concerts of unvaccinated British artists

Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival announced on Friday that it was forced to drop the acts of four UK-based artists from its summer program because they haven’t been fully vaccinated yet.

Switzerland's Montreux Jazz Festival cancels concerts of unvaccinated British artists
British singer-songwriter Rag'n'Bone Man was dropped from Montreux Jazx Festival. Photo: GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP

The move was done in order to comply with current Covid-19 entry rules into Switzerland, which state that from June 26th, travellers from outside the Schengen zone, including Brits, will only be allowed to enter Switzerland if they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus. 

READ ALSO: Switzerland relaxes travel rules for vaccinated Americans and Brits: What you need to know

British soul singer Rag’n’Bone Man who was one of the headliners for the 2021 edition of the festival, which starts on July 2nd, will now no longer be able to attend due to not being fully vaccinated.

Other unvaccinated acts based in the UK who were also dropped because of the new entry rules include Inhaler, Alfa Mist and the Yussef Dayes Trio.

The artists have already been replaced with other performers from around Europe including Italian singer Zucchero, Woodkid, Dutch songwriter Benny Sings and Danish jazz trio Athletic Progression.

In a statement on June 25th, festival organisers said they were trying to make sure that the concerts of the other UK artists would continue to go ahead, however it is tricky because of fears over the Delta strain of the Covid virus, which has now become dominant in Britain.

“Whether or not these artists can come depends on their vaccination status and that of their touring entourage, as well as their ability to quarantine at the start of their European tour or before their concert at Montreux,” they said.

The Montreux Jazz Festival is one of just a small handful of big music festivals in Switzerland that will still go ahead this summer. Other music events such as St Gallen Open-Air, Paléo and Bern’s Gurten festival have been cancelled for the second year in a row, due to ongoing fears over the Covid-19 virus.

READ ALSO: UPDATE: What rules do European countries have for travellers from the UK?