The Covid-19 Vaccine Janssen vaccine, produced by the American pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson, was approved by Swissmedic on Monday, March 22.
However, since the government has refused to purchase the vaccine to incorporate into its vaccination schedule, it is not expected to be publicly available, unless it is purchased privately, for example by private companies to vaccinate employees. .
This is what you need to know.
Switzerland approves Johnson and Johnson, but won’t buy any doses
On Monday, the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products, Swissmedic, provisionally approved the vaccine made by Johnson and Johnson (Covid-19 Vaccine Janssen).
This made it the third vaccine approved in Switzerland after the Moderna and Pfizer / BioNtech coups. Unfortunately, however, this does not mean that the vaccine will be available to the Swiss public any time soon.
While Swissmedic has approved the vaccine for use in Switzerland, the Swiss government has not yet signed a vaccine supply contract with the manufacturer.
As The Local Switzerland reported yesterday, this is mainly because it would only be delivered in the summer “and it’s too late for us,” said Nora Kronig, vice president of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).
The FOPH had previously announced that the country aims to vaccinate “everyone who wants it” by the summer.
Kronig also said that Switzerland is focusing on the Pfizer / BioNtech and Moderna vaccines that use so-called mRNA technology, “which is more effective, especially for vulnerable people.”
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a different technology.
Does this mean that there are no Johnson and Johnson in Switzerland?
The contrasting positions of the federal government and the independent approval body have led to a situation where the vaccine can be imported, but only privately.
As reported on March 23 by the Swiss public broadcaster SRFAny private entity that wishes to import the vaccine can do so “on its own, but quickly and without bureaucratic obstacles from the canton and the federal government.”
The most likely way for this to happen is if private companies import the vaccine to immunize their employees.
What do people in Switzerland say about this?
The response in Switzerland has been understandably critical, especially since considerate experts the vaccine, a possible “game changer” in the delay in the launch of the vaccine in Switzerland.
Some of the advantages of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine are that it is much cheaper than those already approved in Switzerland and consists of a single dose instead of two.
The vaccine also has an advantage over some others, as it can be stored frozen between -25 ° C and -15 ° C and transported between 2 ° C and 8 ° C. Once it is removed from the freezer, the unopened vaccine can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three months.
Cantonal health directors in Zug wrote to the federal government in a public letter that the decision was “incomprehensible” and could be effective in vaccinating people who are wary of mRNA vaccines.
“In the current situation, it is incomprehensible that the order for additional vaccines is being canceled from the beginning,” wrote the president of the Zug City Council, Karl Kobelt, and the municipal secretary, Martin Würmli.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has advantages in terms of distribution and could also appeal to sectors of the population that are quite critical of mRNA vaccines. There are also indications that the vaccine could have advantages for certain mutations. “
Cantonal authorities in Zug acknowledged that there may be an underlying conflict of interest with respect to the vaccine, given that Johnson and Johnson is based in Zug.
“The company is not only a major employer in the city of Zug, but also makes a significant contribution to the tax base of legal persons,” the letter reads.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism