Switzerland authorizes Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for immediate use

Europe Materials 13 January 2021 07:34 (UTC +04:00)
Switzerland authorizes Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for immediate use

Switzerland's health regulator Swissmedic on Tuesday authorized the "immediate" use of U.S. company Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine in the country. Switzerland, a country of 8.5 million people, has already pre-ordered 7.5 million doses of the vaccine, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine was approved for use by Swissmedic in December. Taken together, the two vaccines will be available in half a million doses in January, the Swiss government said.

Availability will increase in the next few months, and by the summer "everyone who wishes to go for vaccination should be able to do so," the government said.

It also said that so far it has procured more than 15 million vaccine doses from three manufacturers.

The country started its first vaccination campaign on Dec. 23, 2020. A 90-year-old woman was the first Swiss citizen to receive the COVID-19 jab.

The level of infection remains high in Switzerland. As of Tuesday, the country had reported 487,357 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 7,793 deaths.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 236 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 63 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Jan. 12.