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CureVac seeks Covid-19 shot approval in Switzerland

Researcher testing Curevac Covid-19 vaccine.
Switzerland has already placed orders for five million doses of CureVac’s mRNA vaccine. Keystone / Jeroen Jumelet

German drugmaker CureVac has submitted an application for the approval of its Covid-19 mRNA vaccine with Swiss drugs regulator Swissmedic. Until now Switzerland has approved three vaccines, two of which are being used.

Switzerland has already placed orders for five million doses of CureVac’s mRNA vaccine, which is similar to those from Moderna and Pfizer that are already being administered across the country.

The submission is part of a rolling review procedure to “evaluate the scientific data as soon as they become available”, Swissmedic said.

“CureVac can forward documentation on its vaccine candidate on an ongoing basis without having to await the final results of the clinical trials,” it said. However, it is unclear how long the review will take.

“The duration of the rolling review will depend on the completeness of the data submitted by CureVac and the results of the clinical trials, and cannot therefore be predicted,” Swissmedic said.

Swiss drugmaker Novartis has agreed to help make CureVac’s vaccine at a plant in neighbouring Austria.

AstraZeneca status

Although AstraZeneca was the first company to start the review process in Switzerland in early October for its vaccine, regulators have said they still don’t have enough information to approve the British company’s shot.

Swiss authorities have ordered nearly 36 million vaccine doses from Pfizer/BioNTech (6 million), Moderna (13.5 million), AstraZeneca (5.3 million), CureVac (5 million) and Novavax (6 million) for the population of 8.6 million people. So far, there are two vaccines approved and available in the country, those from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine has also been approved but has not been ordered by the Federal Office of Public Health. Others should follow.

Since January 4 (vaccinations began in late December) the government has started to roll out its vaccination planExternal link. It has set an ambitious target: to inoculate six million people or 70% of the population – on a voluntary basis – by summer, or up to 70,000 vaccine shots per day. The vaccination roll-out is being slowly scaled up. The programme has been delayed by vaccine production and delivery problems.



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