Switzerland had to pay more for COVID doses than its neighbours, leak finds

Switzerland had to pay more for COVID doses than its neighbours, leak finds

New data leaked to the Swiss media has revealed that Switzerland had to pay significantly more for COVID vaccines than its neighbours. On average, the alpine nation paid around 28 Swiss francs per dose, far higher than the 15,85 to 21,9 Swiss franc price tag quoted for EU nations.

Contracts between Swiss governments and vaccine providers still confidential

According to the document, 632 million Swiss francs are due in 2022 "for the payment of a total of 33 million vaccine doses from the companies Moderna, Pfizer / Biontech and Novavax." According to Watson, Switzerland has paid 934,5 million Swiss francs for vaccines in total, amounting to an average of around 28 Swiss francs per dose.

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) said that it does not provide information on exactly how much the vaccines cost, as the contracts made between the international companies that make the vaccine and the FOPH are still confidential. The number quoted by Watson is therefore only an estimate, with around 2 Swiss francs of expected error, but the media company noted that the cost is roughly in line with previous prices stated by Moderna.

Switzerland paid up to 25 percent more for COVID vaccine doses

The price means Switzerland paid up to 12 Swiss francs or 25 percent more per dose than its European neighbours, with prices in the EU ranging from 15,50 to 21,50 euros. Alfred Angerer from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences said, "Switzerland does not have the same bargaining power as the EU and it is normal that you pay a Swiss surcharge." 

He noted that medicines in Switzerland are often more expensive than in Europe. He said that the Swiss government had no interest in prolonging negotiations over COVID vaccines, especially at the height of the pandemic, which led to an increased price but a swifter rollout.

With a COVID wave expected this autumn, Switzerland has been purchasing more vaccines for a second booster campaign and subsequent waves in 2023. The full details of the contracts signed between pharmaceutical companies and the government are expected to be released soon.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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