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Swissmedic fast-tracks second anti-viral vaccine

Packaged products on a conveyor belt at a Pfizer factory
Pfizer reportedly started manufacturing hundreds of thousands of Covid-19 vaccines ahead of expecting approval in the US and elsewhere. Keystone/Dave Weaver

The Swiss therapeutic products agency has begun reviewing another anti-Covid 19 vaccine in the rolling submission procedure.

Swissmedic said the United States pharmaceutical company Pfizer submitted an application for the authorisation of a vaccine which is based on the mRNA technology last week.

The agency added it is fast-tracking all applications connected with the Covid-19 pandemic, assigning extra staff to this task so that content checks and, in particular, user safety are not compromised.

The criteria for reviewing safety, efficacy and quality remain unchanged, according to Claus Bolte, head of Swissmedic’s authorisation division.

“The data packages for the vaccine candidates will be reviewed just as comprehensively, but faster. As a result, we can shorten the waiting times between the development stages during the review,” Bolte said in a statementExternal link published on Monday.

Two weeks ago, the Swiss authorities started assessing an application for a vaccine developed by the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

Switzerland has also signed a deal with US biotech firm Moderna to secure early access to 4.5 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR