Swiss Health Ministry: People who recovered from Covid-19 should be vaccinated sooner

Swiss Health Ministry: People who recovered from Covid-19 should be vaccinated sooner
Vaccines should be given four weeks after recovery, health officials say. Photo by Richard Juilliart / AFP
Health officials in Switzerland revised their recommendations for the inoculation of people who have recovered from coronavirus. Will Covid certificates be revised accordingly?

Until recently, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) recommended that people who had Covid should get one dose of the vaccine no earlier than three months after infection.

That’s because health officials initially believed that post-Covid immunity lasted at least six months. Now they say protection from renewed infection lasts “for a certain period of time, but it is not clear how long for”.

That’s why FOPH now advises inoculation “from four weeks after a confirmed coronavirus infection” but no later than three months.

Will the new recommendation alter the validity of Covid certificates?

Right now, certificates issued to recovered people are valid for six months, versus one year for those who are fully vaccinated.

However, FOPH states that “the validity may be adjusted on the basis of new scientific data”.

READ MORE: UPDATED: A step-by-step guide to getting the Swiss Covid certificate

This has prompted some MPs to call for the shortening of the duration of the certificate  to four months for recovery and to eight months for the vaccines.

“We have to listen to science and follow its recommendations. In this respect, it will probably be correct to shorten the validity period of the certificate for those who have recovered”, said deputy Yvonne Feri.

Another MP, Martin Bäumle agrees that “the incentive to be vaccinated would be increased by shortening the certificate duration”.

Infectiologist Andreas Widmer also advocated adjusting the certificate duration for those who have recovered.

“People who are skeptical of vaccinations and who have recently become infected would be more likely to be vaccinated if the certificate was only valid for three months”, he said.

FOPH has not responded to these recommendations but Thomas Steffen, cantonal doctor of Basel-City, said no changes for certificate o are needed at the moment.

“Currently, we rarely see new infections in the first six months after illness”, he said.

“However, the recovered person is undoubtedly better protected by an earlier vaccination”, Steffen added.

READ MORE: Covid-19 vaccines: Why is Switzerland lagging behind other EU countries?

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