Switzerland: Healthcare workers want priority for Covid booster shots

A nurse fills a syringe with the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine
Should healthcare workers get priority access to booster vaccines just as they did during the first vaccination campaign? THOMAS LOHNES / AFP
With Switzerland on the brink of rolling out Covid booster shots, healthcare workers are demanding to be among the first in line.

As nurses and other frontline workers were among the first to be inoculated in Switzerland at the beginning of 2021 when the Covid vaccine was rolled out, they now want to be the first to receive the third dose when it is made available. 

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A spokesperson for health workers in Switzerland said healthcare workers should be near the front of the queue due to the greater risk associated with their work. 

“Because health workers were vaccinated early in the year, they are among those whose immunity to coronavirus decreases first”, according to Roswitha Koch, head of the Swiss Association of Nurses.

As they are in regular contact with Covid patients and therefore at increased risk of infection, the association expects medical workers to have priority access to boosters, as soon as these shots become available.

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

At the University Hospital Zurich, nurses and doctors are already at the front of the queue.

“As with the initial vaccinations, we will do everything in our power to offer booster vaccinations for employees as soon as they are approved,” said hospital spokesperson Claudio Jörg.

Swiss authorities have come under fire for stalling on Covid boosters, particularly as they have been completely or partially rolled out in other countries. 

Drug regulatory agency Swissmedic is in the process of examining scientific evidence concerning boosters and the government has indicated these shots may be ready to be administered as soon as the end of October.

READ MORE: Switzerland could approve Covid boosters ‘by end October’

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