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Reader question: I can’t get vaccinated. How do I get Switzerland’s Covid certificate?

Reader question: I can’t get vaccinated. How do I get Switzerland's Covid certificate?
Even those who don’t tolerate Covid vaccines, may have the possibility to get it soon. VALENTIN FLAURAUD / AFP
With the certificate now compulsory for a range of everyday activities in Switzerland, including visits to bars, restaurants, and other indoor venues and events, what is the situation for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons?

Question: I have a serious medical problem that means I cannot be vaccinated, does that mean I have to accept having no social life in Switzerland for the foreseeable future?

This is unquestionably a difficult situation, as the Covid certificate is now required to attend nearly everywhere indoors in Switzerland.

Not having one means you are excluded not only from restaurants, bars, and fitness clubs, but also cultural and sports events that take place in outdoor venues.

READ MORE: Switzerland extends Covid certificate for entry to restaurants and bars

What about people who might want to be vaccinated but cannot for medical reasons?

The certificate is issued not only to those who are fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid, but also to people who test negative to the virus.

It is certainly not an ideal solution, as testing before each outing or event is bothersome. Not only that, but from October 10th the tests will no longer be free of charge and frequent screening can get expensive.

Fortunately for those who are genuinely unable to be vaccinated – and can prove it – testing will continue to be free

Information on how to get the certificate with a negative test can be found at the following link. 

EXPLAINED: How to get Switzerland’s Covid certificate with a negative test

There is also another matter

Not being able to be vaccinated for “medical reasons” is a vast term.

According to Infovac, Switzerland’s official vaccination platform, there are only three reasons why a person can’t get a Covid shot. Two — acute infection and low immunity —are qualified as “temporary”, meaning that inoculation is possible at a later date.

The third reason listed is severe allergy to the two vaccines currently used in Switzerland, Moderna and Pfizer.

If you fit into the third category, there’s good news ahead. 

The Federal Council is stepping up negotiations for the purchase of a small quantity of Johnson & Johnson vaccines and is expected to conclude the talks with the US manufacturer, Janssen, shortly.

The vaccine, which was approved for use in Switzerland in March and is administered widely elsewhere, will be administered to people over the age of 18 who have severe allergies and can’t be inoculated with Moderna or Pfizer, which use a different technology than the Janssen vaccine.

These candidates will have to prove their eligibility — for instance, with a letter from their doctor or other relevant documentation.

So if you have allergy to the current vaccines, Johnson & Johnson may provide an alternative and, ultimately, the Covid certificate.

READ MORE: Switzerland prepares to roll out Johnson and Johnson vaccine


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