For members


Vaud first Swiss canton to start vaccinating all members of public

While other Swiss cantons are still prioritising older adults and people with high-risk medical conditions, Vaud has become the first Swiss canton to open up its inoculation programme to everyone over 18, regardless of their health status.

Vaud first Swiss canton to start vaccinating all members of public
A patient waits to receive a dose of Moderna vaccine against the Covid-19 at a newly-opened vaccination center in Lausanne, Vaud, on April 19, 2021. Photo by Valentin FLAURAUD / AFP

The canton, which last week inoculated only those over the age of 50, announced on Monday that “everyone 18 and up” can now get their shots in one of its 14 vaccination centres, in addition to some pharmacies and doctors’ offices.

As soon as the announcement was made, 40,000 people tried to log into the online registration system at the same time, causing it to temporarily collapse.

This makes it the first of Switzerland’s 26 cantons to open up vaccines to the entire general public, SRF reports

This expansion and inclusion of all age groups is possible due to the delivery of new doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, as well as the recent openings of two “vaccinodromes”, at the Beaulieu conference centre in Lausanne and the convention complex in Montreux, both capable of vaccinating thousands of people each day.

READ MORE: Inside Switzerland’s two new, large-scale Covid-19 vaccination centres

“To date, more than 83 percent of the chronically ill are vaccinated, two-thirds of those over 75, and more than half of people between 65 and 74 years,” cantonal authorities said.

What is the situation in the rest of Switzerland?

After a slow rollout beset by late deliveries and supply shortages, the country’s vaccination programme is picking up its pace, with millions of doses expected to arrive between now and the end of July.

Federal authorities have told cantons to dip into their “second dose” reserves to speed up the pace of inoculations. 

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

Until April 21st, nearly 2.3 million people in Switzerland received at least one dose of the vaccine, and about 824,000 got both shots, according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

As this FOPH map shows, cantons of Geneva, Neuchâtel, Basel-Country, and Schaffhausen are Swiss champions in the rate of vaccinations, followed by Uri, Graubünden, and Ticino.

On the other hand, Zurich lags behind all the other cantons.

READ MORE: Thousands of vaccination appointments still available in Zurich in April

This table shows the number of vaccines administered in each canton.

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For members


Switzerland: What you should know before moving to Vaud

French-speaking Vaud is one of the most popular Swiss cantons for foreigners to settle in. There are many reasons why this is so. Here's what you need to know if you're thinking about moving here.

Lavaux is one of Vaud's wine-growing areas.
Vaud’s Lavaux region is famous for its terraced vineyards overlooking Lake Geneva. Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Although Vaud may not be as well-known abroad as Zurich or Geneva, many foreign nationals find their way into this canton in the western part of Switzerland.

In fact, about 33 percent of the canton’s 800,000-plus residents come from other countries.

Only its neighbour, Geneva, as well as Basel-City, have a higher proportion of foreign residents — 40 and 36 percent, respectively.

High concentration of foreigners may be explained by the fact that Vaud is home to a number of multinational companies, including Nestlé, Phillip Morris, Medtronic, General Mills, as well as a major research and education hub, the Federal Polytechnic Institute (EPFL).

The canton’s proximity to Geneva also means it is a popular commuter destination. 

EPFL research institute and campus. Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

If you are moving to this area, or have already settled here and are  still feeling your way around, this practical information may help you find your bearings.

Here’s what you need to know about moving to Vaud. 

Vaud’s capital: Lausanne

The seat of the cantonal government and the fifth-largest city in Switzerland (after Zurich, Geneva, Basel, and Bern), Lausanne is a super interesting place, which hosts the International Olympic Committee and its sports museum.

It also boasts a very picturesque medieval Old Town, as well as some Roman ruins located alongside the shore of Lake Geneva (known here as Lac Léman).

The center tower of the Cathedral of Lausanne overlooks the Old Town. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Although very hilly, Lausanne has a well-developed public transportation network, consisting of trolleybuses and metro, making it easy to move around this town.

Register your arrival

Whether you live in Lausanne or in another part of Vaud — which is made up of 302 communes located in 10 districts — you must announce your arrival at your local place of residence. This is a requirement in other Swiss cantons as well.

You can visit your commune’s website to find out exactly what documents are needed for registration, as this may vary from one municipality to another, even within the same canton.

READ MORE: How to register your address in Switzerland


Each Swiss canton imposes its own taxation regime, and figuring out how to fill out your tax declaration or how much tax you owe can be a headache — no matter where you live.

This official site will help you calculate your taxes, based on your commune of residence.

Alternatively, you can find this information here.

READ MORE: Switzerland’s strangest taxes – and what happens if you don’t pay them

Health insurance

Health insurance is compulsory not only in Vaud, but also elsewhere in Switzerland. You will have to purchase a policy within three months of your arrival in the canton.

You can find various insurance carriers in Vaud, along with their rates, in this link.

While health insurance premiums are notoriously high in Switzerland, and Vaud’s are among the highest in the country, you can be assured of top-quality medical care.

That’s because Vaud’s university hospital (CHUV) is highly ranked not only in Switzerland, but it was also selected by Newsweek as one of the 10 best hospitals in the world in 2021.

The University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV) is highly rated worldwide. Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Commuter towns

While the majority of Vaud residents are employed in the canton, some people — especially those living in the southern part of the canton — commute to work in nearby Geneva.

Communities along Lake Geneva, such as Gland, Nyon, and Coppet, are among Vaud  towns that are connected to Geneva by the A1 motorway or rail.

MAPS: The best commuter towns when working in Geneva

Leisure and recreation

Vaud offers lots of opportunities for both leisure and recreation, including boating on Lake Geneva and skiing in resorts like Villars, Les Diablerets, and Leysin.

And Vaud is also a well-known (at least locally) wine growing region, with vineyards located mainly along the coast of Lake Geneva.

One, the Lavaux area, which stretches for about 30 km along the lake, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Vaud has some of its own culinary specialties that new residents should definitely try to get the taste — both literally and figuratively — of the region.

These are some typical dishes:

  • Sainte-Croix pea soup is often served at local fairs and village get-togethers
  • Ham on the bone and potato gratin are most commonly eaten at village events
  • Malakoffs  — cheese fritters coated with batter are quite caloric but delicious
  • Arctic char and perch fillets from Lake Geneva lightly fried and served with tartare sauce are a popular local specialty.

As they say in this part of Switzerland, bon appétit!

READ MORE: Six common myths about Swiss food you need to stop believing