Switzerland becomes the latest country to secure vaccines from Moderna Therapeutics
The global pandemic has seen countries jockeying for position to be first in line to receive the vital vaccine to inoculate themselves from the deadly coronavirus.
The Swiss Government is now the latest country to secure vaccines for one forth of its population. The government wants to ensure that the Swiss population has rapid access to a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine. At the same time, Switzerland is supporting multilateral projects for the fair distribution of a future vaccine. While no vaccine has yet been approved for the market anywhere in the world, intensive development and research work is underway.
The Swiss government has an agreement in place with the biotech firm Moderna, which is already at an advanced stage with its vaccine project. If the vaccine successfully passes the clinical trial phase and can be approved for the Swiss market, Switzerland will receive 4.5 million vaccine doses. As it is expected that two vaccine doses will be necessary, this means that it will be possible to vaccinate 2.25 million people.
Switzerland is one of the first countries to conclude an agreement with Moderna.
Moderna’s mRNA vaccine is based on an innovative technology: the mRNA is a kind of messenger molecule that carries the building instructions for the production of proteins. This tells the body’s cells how to produce the virus protein. As soon as the protein is produced in the body, it is identified as an antigen by the immune system, which then produces antibodies against the virus, thus preparing the body to combat the real virus.
Further vaccine projects under evaluation
At present, it is not yet possible to say with any certainty which companies or vaccines will ultimately prevail and which vaccines will be possible to make available to the Swiss population. The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) is thus holding further talks with vaccine candidates in parallel to the conclusion of the agreement with Moderna. The department has also allocated a total of CHF 300 million for the procurement of the additional vaccines.
It is expected that there will initially not be enough vaccine doses available for a broad vaccination of the entire Swiss population. The vaccination strategy will take account of the latest scientific knowledge and prioritise – with the close involvement of the Federal Commission for Vaccination (FCV).