On December 14, 2021, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the Federal Commission on Vaccination (EKIF) approved vaccinations for children between the ages of five and 11.
This followed a decision by the Swiss drug regulator on Friday, December 10th, to approve the jab. Previously, only those aged 12 and over could be vaccinated against Covid.
Six months later, on May 13th 2022, Swiss authorities approved the Moderna jab for children in the same age bracket.
This means two vaccines are now approved for children in Switzerland, both of which are mRNA vaccines.
When did vaccinations start?
The first vaccinations took place from January onwards. The reason for the delay is a lack of vaccine supply.
The lack of supply has already slowed down Switzerland’s booster shot rollout, while cantonal authorities across the country remain behind the eight ball in rebuilding their vaccination infrastructure.
How can I get my children vaccinated?
As with all other Covid vaccinations, the rules are developed at a cantonal level, therefore the exact starting date will be different across the country.
As with previous rollouts of the vaccine, parents will presumably be able to register their children to get vaccinated in the weeks before the shots are administered.
Lukas Engelberger, President of the Conference of Health Directors (GDK), confirmed in December that children could be vaccinated at vaccination centres as well as by doctors.
You can find out the information for each cantons, including how to register and the procedures they have in place, here.
For more information on the vaccination campaign for children in Switzerland, please click the following link.
Is the vaccine safe for children?
“Clinical trial results show that the vaccine is safe and effective in this age group,” it said in a statement.
The Comirnaty vaccine is administered in two doses of ten microgrammes three weeks apart.
An ongoing clinical trial of more than 1,500 people “shows that the Covid-19 vaccine offers almost complete protection against serious illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in 5 to 11-year-olds”, it said.
“Side effects tended to occur less frequently than in adolescents or adults. They included pain at the injection site and tiredness, or less frequently headache, aching limbs or fever,” the agency added.
In the United States, around 2.5 million children have been vaccinated. So far, there have been no evidence of serious side effects.