Switzerland approves Covid booster shot for over 65s

Switzerland will roll out Covid vaccines from November, targeting the elderly and those in high risk categories. Photo: ARIANA DREHSLER / AFP
Switzerland will roll out Covid vaccines from November, targeting the elderly and those in high risk categories. Photo: ARIANA DREHSLER / AFP
Switzerland is set to approve Covid booster shots for people “in retirement age”. The shots will be administered from mid-November onwards.

People aged over 65 will be eligible for a Covid booster shot from the middle of November. 

Earlier on Tuesday, Swiss media outlet Watson reported the approval of national vaccine authority Swissmedic is “imminent”. 

The booster shots will only be approved for people in high-risk categories as well as those “in retirement age”. 

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

The booster shots will be administered a minimum of six months after their second vaccination. 

Retirement age for men and women in Switzerland is 65. 

Switzerland has come under fire for stalling on booster shots, which are already being administered in several other countries including the United States, Austria, Germany and Israel. 

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

Christoph Berger, head of the Federal Commission for Vaccination Issues Ekif, said he wasn’t bothered by the delay, which was necessary to collate key facts surrounding the effectiveness of boosters and the duration of immunity. 

“The delay doesn’t bother me extremely. I am glad that the approval is now due on time.”

Berger said that the recommendation will be for people aged 65 and over, and those in high risk categories. 

The healthy working-age population now doesn’t need a booster,” said Berger.

Several Swiss cantons have already begun rolling out booster shots for people in extremely high risk categories, however this has been largely on an ad hoc basis. 

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

‘Especially high risk’

“People at especially high risk can receive a booster dose of a vaccine in order to remain adequately protected against severe episodes of Covid-19,” the agency said.

A third dose is already recommended for people with weakened immune systems.

It can be given to immuno-compromised people after at least 28 days. In turn, the Swiss health ministry said it now recommended a booster shot for everyone aged over 65, with the third dose roll-out to start in mid-November.

“Significantly higher immunisation coverage is necessary to ensure sufficient vaccination of the population, protect them against severe forms of the disease and prevent overloading the health system,” it said.

The wealthy European nation’s vaccination rates slowed dramatically over the summer.

Sixty-three percent of the population is fully vaccinated, and the anti-vax and anti-Covid restrictions movement regularly draws thousands of people to rallies. The single-shot Janssen vaccine is the only other Covid-19 jab authorised in Switzerland.


Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.