Switzerland approves COVID booster shots for the over 65s
Swissmedic has now approved booster shots for people over the age of 65 in Switzerland. The plan is to boost COVID-19 immunity among the elderly by providing an extra jab, although authorities have stressed that a rollout to younger age groups will only happen in spring.
COVID-19 booster vaccine jabs to be given to elderly in Switzerland
The Swiss government said in a statement that it would only recommend a booster jab for those above 65 years old, as they are still the most vulnerable to COVID and most likely to be admitted to hospital. Switzerland has now followed other countries like Israel and the United Kingdom in offering a new jab.
The booster jab has already been made available in Switzerland for immunocompromised people, with the government estimating over 7.700 shots have been given so far. It is hoped that the additional vaccine will improve immunity in the elderly, since studies from the UK have shown that it is effective in bolstering resistance to COVID-19.
Eligible people can book vaccine booster shots from November
As of the beginning of November, people who are defined as immunosuppressed, people over the age of 65, and people with illnesses such as lung disease, cancer and diabetes can begin to book a booster. The government says the booking system will be running by the start of November. The rollout will be the responsibility of the cantons, with Watson reporting the healthcare system expects to begin inoculations by mid-November.
Concluding the press conference, a spokesperson from the Federal Office of Public Health said that it is unlikely that people younger than 65 will receive the booster any time soon, as there is “little evidence regarding the benefits.” Christoph Berger, Chair of the Federal Commission for Vaccination, said that, as of now, a booster for the rest of the population will be announced in the spring at the earliest.