ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland has agreed to buy 150,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines
from Johnson & Johnson that will arrive this week and be distributed to regional authorities next week, the government said on Wednesday.
Switzerland has relied so far on vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna using new mRNA technology but also considered standard vector jabs from Johnson & Johnson to help persuade more people to get immunized.
“People aged 12 and over are still recommended to be vaccinated primarily with an mRNA vaccine, as this offers a very high level of protection and is very safe,” the Federal Office of Public Health said.
But it noted that health experts had recommend J&J’s vaccine to all persons over 18 who cannot be vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine for medical reasons or who reject the mRNA vaccine.
Pregnant women and people with immunodeficiency were still recommended to use one of the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna.
Switzerland and tiny neighbour Liechtenstein have recorded nearly 840,000 infections and almost 10,700 deaths from COVID-19 since the coronavirus pandemic began. Around 58% of the population is fully vaccinated.
(Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)