Switzerland donates up to 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses
Switzerland donates up to 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

Switzerland donates up to 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

People stand in line at a test tent with coronavirus (COVID-19) at Stadtspital Triemli Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland 13 January 2022. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann

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ZURICH, February 23 (Reuters) – Switzerland will donate up to 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to other countries by the middle of this year, having secured more than enough to cover its own population of around 8.7 million, the government said Wednesday.

About 34 million doses of vaccine will be available for Switzerland by 2022 – 20 million in the first half of the year and 14 million in the second, the cabinet said.

The country has already lifted almost all corona pandemic restrictions as fears eased that an increase in infections driven by the Omicron variant would overwhelm the healthcare system. Read more

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“The priority is that donation of vaccines that are in excess of the requirements must run through the multilateral mechanism of the COVAX initiative,” the government added in a announcement.

Romania said on Wednesday it would donate 1.1 million AstraZeneca vaccines to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Algeria and Libya, while the World Health Organization said it had set up a hub in South Korea to train low- and middle-income countries to produce their own vaccines. Read more

In June 2021, Switzerland decided to donate 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. In December, it delayed the delivery of one million doses of Moderna vaccine so that the COVAX initiative could directly benefit from released production capacity.

The government also said it would agree purchase guarantees with drug manufacturers to treat Sars-CoV-2 so people with immune deficiencies would have access to them.

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Reporting by Michael Shields Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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