Switzerland could approve Covid boosters ‘by end October’

A sign in a Covid vaccination centre
Switzerland is under fire for stalling in its approval of booster shots. Photo: JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP
Swiss authorities have indicated Covid booster shots may be ready as soon as the end of the month, amid growing criticism of the slow rollout.

Amid debates about the third vaccine does — and criticism over the government’s slowness — Switzerland’s vaccine regulatory agency said the long-awaited booster rollout may be imminent.

Claus Bolte, Head of Authorisation at Swissmedic,  said in an interview with the SRF public broadcaster that approval may come by the end of October. 

“I’m talking about a few, maybe two or three weeks. That now essentially depends on the companies and when they will answer our questions in such a way that we can also extend the approval. “

However, Bolte didn’t specify the exact timing of boosters and which groups will be eligible to receive them.

READ MORE: Covid-19: Why is Switzerland still stalling on booster shots?

While some cantons have begun administering booster shots, this as yet is not taking place on a widespread basis. 

The Swiss government has come under fire for failing to approve Covid booster shots, particularly as several other countries have already done so. 

Swiss media reported on Sunday that Alice Schmidli-Amrein, the first person in Switzerland to receive the Covid vaccine in December 2020, died from coronavirus on October 11th.

“If my mother had received a vaccine booster, she would still be alive,” her son, Jack Schmidli said.

UPDATED: How can I get my Covid booster shot in Switzerland?

Three other vaccinated residents of the care home where Schmidli-Amrein lived have also succumbed to the disease since early September, and 11 others have tested positive.

In all, 52 people who have received their shots earlier in the year have died of Covid since the beginning of September, Tages-Anzeiger reports.

France, Germany, Austria, Israel and the United States are just some of the countries which have already rolled out an extended booster shot program

Around half of Switzerland’s cantons are already administering booster shots, although this is only for very high risk individuals. 

READ MORE: Which Swiss cantons are already offering Covid booster shots?


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