Switzerland pre-orders 4.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine

Arms race: countries and companies are scrambling for a Covid-19 vaccine. Associated Press

The Swiss government has signed a deal with US biotech firm Moderna to secure early access to 4.5 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine currently in development.

This content was published on August 7, 2020 - 09:23
swissinfo.ch/dos

Swiss authorities said on Friday that Moderna was “already at an advanced stage with its vaccine project”, but they did not mention a possible time frame for delivery.

They also said the 4.5 million batches would make it possible to vaccinate 2.25 million people, since double doses are expected to be necessary.

Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, with ingredients manufactured by Swiss pharma firm Lonza, is based on an innovative mRNA technology, the government writes:

“mRNA is a kind of messenger molecule that carries the building instructions for the production of proteins. This tells the body’s cells how to produce the virus protein. As soon as the protein is produced in the body, it is identified as an antigen by the immune system, which then produces antibodies against the virus, thus preparing the body to combat the real virus.”

The government also says that Switzerland is “one of the first countries to conclude an agreement with Moderna”. The US has also been linked to a deal.

In parallel to this agreement, the Swiss government is continuing talks with other companies in what it calls a “diversified approach” to gaining access to a vaccine. It also continues to support multilateral projects for the fair distribution of a future cure, it writes.

The federal government has earmarked CHF300 million ($329 million) for the procurement of a vaccine.

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