Coronavirus: Switzerland approves Biontech vaccine

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Switzerland has also approved the vaccine from the companies Biontech and Pfizer – the first country to do so in the regular procedure rather than in the context of an emergency approval. Deliveries are scheduled to start before the end of December.

Switzerland has granted approval to the Corona vaccine developed by Mainz-based Biontech and its U.S. partner Pfizer. This is the world’s first approval in a regular procedure instead of an emergency approval, the regulatory authority Swissmedic announced.

“Meticulous testing”

The vaccine had been under review since mid-October with dossiers submitted on an ongoing basis, it said. “After the meticulous review of the available information, Swissmedic concludes that Pfizer/Biontech’s Covid-19 vaccine is safe. Its benefits outweigh the risks,” the drug agency said.

Given the consequences of the pandemic, the rapid approval represents a public health milestone, Swissmedic Director Raimund Bruhn said.

People 16 and older could now be vaccinated with two doses at least 21 days apart. “According to data evaluated by the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products, vaccine protection seven days after the second vaccination is over 90 percent,” Swissmedic said.

Three million doses for Switzerland
Biontech and Pfizer are to deliver about three million vaccine doses to Switzerland. Pfizer said deliveries would start this year and continue in 2021.

Biontech board member Sean Marett welcomed the decision by Swiss authorities. He said the number of countries approving the vaccine is growing steadily. “This is important to help fight the pandemic.” Vaccinations with the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine have already started in some countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States.

In addition to Biontech, Switzerland has signed contracts with two other manufacturers of Corona vaccines for the supply of a total of 15.8 million vaccine doses: With the U.S. pharmaceutical company Moderna and the British-Swedish group AstraZeneca.

For the EU, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will make a decision on the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine on Monday. After that, the EU Commission, together with the member states, will decide on marketing authorization.

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