Second COVID booster campaign in Switzerland: What you need to know
From October 10, people in Switzerland are able to book a second COVID booster vaccination, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has confirmed. Here’s what you need to know about the second booster jab, who is eligible and how to book the vaccination.
Common questions about the second COVID booster in Switzerland
The FOPH and the Federal Vaccination Commission have confirmed that people in Switzerland will be able to book a second COVID booster vaccination from October 10. Instead of people having to pay for the second booster - as was standard before October 10 - the government has confirmed that it will be footing the bill.
Why do we need a second COVID-19 booster campaign?
According to the FOPH, a new booster vaccination can help slow the new wave of COVID which is expected to peak during the winter. The number of COVID cases has increased significantly over the past few weeks, increasing by almost 50 percent in the first week of October alone.
The FOPH hopes that a second booster will help reduce the number of serious illnesses, although admitted that "in autumn 2022, in contrast to the beginning of the pandemic, people without risk factors have a low risk of serious illness." Speaking to 20 minuten, a spokesperson said that "a booster vaccination makes sense after individual consideration and a decision if you want to reduce the risk of infection or a rare severe course [of the disease]."
What will be used to vaccinate people in Switzerland?
The new vaccination campaign will be accompanied by a new range of vaccines. These new variants are specifically designed to combat the current strains of COVID that are prevalent in Switzerland, making them more effective against the disease.
Who should have the second booster jab?
The FOPH has recommended a second booster for at-risk people and workers in Swiss healthcare first, followed by all those aged 16 years or older. You are only able to receive a second booster jab four months after you were last vaccinated against COVID-19, or since your last confirmed coronavirus infection.
How do I book a second COVID booster in Switzerland?
Much like the first booster campaign, the second booster vaccination will be managed by Swiss cantons individually. Those looking to be vaccinated can book their appointment through the vaccination website of your canton of residence, which can be found on the official website.
Will more COVID restrictions be imposed in Switzerland?
The Swiss government is yet to announce any additional COVID restrictions as part of the new booster campaign. Swiss cantons will continue to impose some restrictions related to the virus, such as mask mandates in hospitals, but none have announced any new measures.
However, the FOPH said in a statement that “along with vaccination, individual behaviour is also important to protect yourself and others,” such as by wearing a mask in crowded indoor venues, public transport and shops - although there are no plans to reintroduce any additional mask mandates. For more information, check out the FOPH website.
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