Bern, 06.05.2021 - The federal government has signed another contract with the biotech firm Moderna, writes the Swiss Federal Council.
This will ensure a sufficient supply of mRNA vaccine for the Swiss population in 2022. The new contract provides for the delivery of a total of 7 million doses in early 2022. The federal government also has the option of acquiring an additional 7 million doses during the course of 2022. The federal government is working hard to ensure the continued supply of COVID-19 vaccine for the Swiss population. This new contract means Switzerland is well equipped to tackle future virus mutations.
Moderna is currently researching a booster shot that will also target emerging virus strains to ensure a high level of protection next year too. This is subject to a modified Moderna vaccine being reviewed by the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products Swissmedic and authorised for use.
The federal government is currently focusing on mRNA vaccines to protect the Swiss population. These vaccines are proving to be highly effective and well tolerated.
The Moderna vaccine is based on this technology. Switzerland was one of the first countries to sign a contract with Moderna back in 2020. Because vaccine production and availability involve a great deal of uncertainty, the federal government continues to consider different vaccine technologies from different vaccine manufacturers.
It is still in talks with a number of vaccine manufacturers. To date, the federal government has signed contracts with five vaccine manufacturers: Moderna (13.5 million vaccine doses for 2021 and 7 million for 2022), Pfizer/BioNTech (approx.
6 million doses), AstraZeneca (approx. 5.3 million doses), Curevac (5 million doses) and Novavax (6 million doses).
At present, the Moderna and BioNTech/Pfizer vaccines are in use in the cantons; the other COVID-19 vaccines are still awaiting authorisation. Procuring vaccines from different manufacturers is designed to guarantee a sufficient supply of authorised vaccine, even if there are supply problems.
Switzerland has enough vaccine in 2021 to allow children and adolescents to be vaccinated too – provided the vaccines are authorised for this target group. It has also secured a sufficient number of vaccine doses for 2022 to offer the entire population a very high level of immunisation protection.
The federal government will consider sharing vaccines with other countries if they are not needed in Switzerland. mRNA vaccine technologyLike BioNTech and Curevac, Moderna relies on a novel technology called mRNA.
mRNA is a type of messenger molecule that carries instructions on how to make proteins. These instructions provide the body’s cells with the information they need to produce a virus protein.
As soon as the protein is produced in the body, the immune system recognises it as foreign and produces antibodies to fight the virus. The immune response prepares the body to fight the virus if it encounters it in future.
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