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Switzerland to start Covid vaccinations for 12 to 15-year-olds

Switzerland to start Covid vaccinations for 12 to 15-year-olds
Teenagers can now get Covid vaccines in Switzerland.Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP
Covid vaccinations can now be carried out for people as young as 12 in Switzerland after the government fast-tracked approval.

On Wednesday, June 23rd, the Swiss government approved vaccinations of people as young as 12 against coronavirus. 

The government had previously indicated vaccinations in that age group would start in mid-July, the government decided to fast-track the approval.

It is now effective immediately, although the precise date of implementation will be up to the cantons. 

Immunising teenagers is considered to be essential to Switzerland’s hopes of herd immunity. 

Are children at risk of Covid?

While noting that “children and young people are at low risk of developing a severe form of the disease”, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) is nevertheless recommending that people in this age group get immunised.

This is addressed particularly to young people who suffer from serious chronic illnesses, as well as those who live with people who have a weak immune response due to health conditions.

The 12 to 15-year-olds will receive a Pfizer / Biontech vaccine, the only one approved to date by regulatory body, Swissmedic, for this age group.

“In clinical trials, this product has achieved almost 100-percent effectiveness in this age group”, FOPH said.

Moderna, the other vaccine used in Switzerland, has also submitted a request to Swissmedic for the authorisation of its vaccine for people aged 12 to 17.

“As soon as there is sufficient evidence that the safety, efficacy and quality of the COVID-19 vaccine in this age group are adequate, Swissmedic will swiftly decide on the indication extension”, the agency said.

Young people will receive the same vaccine dose as adults, also spaced from four to six weeks apart.

Side effects are also expected to be the same, which are mostly minor, according to FOPH: they include pain at injection site pain, fatigue, headache, chills, muscle or joint pain, or fever. Side effects normally last between one and three days and may be more pronounced after the second dose, FOPH said.

Some cantons have already opened vaccination to this age group, while others are expected to do so in July.

No parental permission is required for the appointment, with children as young as 12 able to get vaccinated without their parents consent provided they understand the procedure. 

More information about vaccines for teenagers in Switzerland is available at the following link. 

READ MORE: What you need to know about Covid vaccines for under 18s in Switzerland


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