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Switzerland/Canadian-Media: Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine has been approved by Swissmedic, Switzerland's drug regulator for use in the country, media reports said.
Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. Image credit: Unsplash
“The data available to date showed a comparable high level of efficacy in all investigated age groups, thus meeting the safety requirements,” drug regulator Swissmedic said in a statement Saturday, adding that the vaccine can’t yet be given to anyone under 16. “The level of protection afforded seven days after the second injection is over 90% in adults.”
The the vaccine was approved by the Swiss after the United Kingdom (U.K.) and United States (U.S.) among others have already approved the vaccine.
The decision by the European Union (EU) regulators be made in a meeting next week.
Contracts with the companies for the delivery of three million vaccine doses had been previously signed by Switzerland.
About 100,000 doses of the first delivery is scheduled to arrive this year, which would be followed by larger batches, according to a separate statement from the Federal Office of Public Health.
People in vulnerable groups would be prioritized for vaccinations beginning in December.
Swiss and EU regulators have been reviewing the vaccine for a conditional marketing authorization process, which according to EU commission’s directorate-general for health requires a higher evidence level, unlike the U.S. and U.K., which conducted emergency authorizations.
Due to seven-day average increase of 3 percent compared to last week, it was announced by the the Swiss government on Friday that it will be closing restaurants and leisure venues to curb the spread of new infections and added that further steps would be considering if the situation worsens.
Vaccines from Moderna and AstraZeneca are still undergoing approval by Swissmedic and are “unlikely” to be available until the middle of next year, said the public health office.