9 December 2020
Switzerland promises coronavirus vaccine will be free and voluntary
A statue representing a child receiving a injection of vaccine is seen at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
The Swiss government announced on Wednesday that the coronavirus vaccine would be free in Switzerland, while also promising that the vaccination scheme would not be compulsory.
On Wednesday, the Federal Department of Home Affairs (EDI) made an amendment to the Health Care Service Ordinance (KLV).
The amendment ensured that vaccination for the coronavirus would be free in Switzerland.
According to the change, the costs for the vaccination scheme will be covered by compulsory insurance providers, along with the federal and cantonal governments.
The announcement was made on December 9th and will come into force on January 1st, 2021.
In a statement, the government promised that the vaccination would be free – and voluntary.
“The Covid-19 vaccine is an important element in fighting the pandemic. The vaccination strategy chosen by the federal government depends on the characteristics and availability of each vaccine,” the statement read.
“The primary objective of the strategy is to prevent severe disease progression in particularly vulnerable groups, to ensure the continued existence of the health system and to minimise the negative social and economic consequences.
The first vaccinations are to take place in the first half of 2021 as soon as Swissmedic has received approval. The Federal Council will not require a compulsory vaccination.”
Scheme to cost ‘approximately half a billion francs’
The statement also estimated the cost of the scheme as at least half a billion francs, while providing for who would foot the bill for what.
“The health insurers cover the costs of the medical consultation and the vaccine, while the federal government bears the costs of transporting and distributing the vaccine to the cantons,” the statement read.
READ: Will residents in Switzerland be allowed to go to Germany for Covid-19 vaccination?
“The federal government will also assume the costs that exceed five francs per vaccine dose. The effective prices of future vaccines are not yet known.
“The cantons bear the logistical costs in their area and the deductible.
“The costs borne by the health insurers are estimated at around 200 to 250 million francs, those for the federal government at at least the same amount.”