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Swiss preparing Covid vaccination certificate

The health office and health scientists presented the latest data about infections, hospitalisations and deaths from the Covid pandemic. Keystone/Peter Schneider

The Swiss health authorities say they plan to roll out a certificate for people who have been vaccinated against coronavirus by summer.

This content was published on March 24, 2021 - 16:40
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Anne Lévy, director of the Federal Office for Public Health, said the document – both on paper and online – would be standardised, safe and compatible with other countries.

She said Switzerland would coordinate its certificate notably with the European Union, but many questions remained open.

“We aim for summer,” she told a news conference on Wednesday, “and it is a challenging task but realistic aim.”

She added that it won’t be possible to set up a central database in Switzerland and that the personal document would only be available for people who had the jab – but not for those who recovered from Covid-19 or people who tested negative for the virus.

Earlier this month, the Swiss parliament approved the legal basis for the certificate, as the EU announced plans to launch a “digital green certificateExternal link” to facilitate safe and free movement in Europe during the pandemic.

Vaccines

Meanwhile, Virginie Masseret, expert on communicable disease at the health office, says Switzerland is still on course with its vaccination campaign.

She said by summer all Swiss residents who agree to get the jab would be inoculated. However, she declined to elaborate on details of supply deliveries and negotiations with producers of the vaccines.

Interior Minister Alain Berset is due to meet representatives of vaccine producing companies – Moderna and Pfizer/ BioNTech – together with cantonal officials on Thursday.

So far, Switzerland has received vaccines from two companies while the medical watchdog has still not given the green light for deliveries from AstraZeneca.

Masseret also said that the epidemic situation in Switzerland was “uncertain” but “under control”. Switzerland recorded just over 2,000 new daily infections on Wednesday, but both the number of hospitalisations and the number of deaths are stagnating.

She said this was partly due to the vaccination campaign among people of the over-80 age group.

Data protection

In another development, the health office has rejected any responsibility in data protection violations of a voluntary electronic vaccination record platform.

Lévy said the platform was run by a private foundation which received some public funding and that the violations were “shocking”. She said it was up to the foundation “to do its homework.”

The website of myvaccines.ch was blocked following the discovery that the data stored were openly accessible and vulnerable to manipulation.

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