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Switzerland ramps up Covid-19 vaccine order

Moderna vaccine
Moderna is one of three vaccine manufacturers to have reached supply deals with Switzerland. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

Switzerland has increased its coronavirus vaccine order with Moderna by three million doses. This Alpine country now has 15.8 million doses of vaccines on order from three different manufacturers, pending approval from the health regulator.

The Swiss government increased its previous order with the US biotechnology company for its mRNA vaccine to a new total of 7.5 million doses, it was announced on Tuesday. Earlier this week, Switzerland added a vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech to its desired stockpile list.

Switzerland’s membership of the World Health Organization COVAXExternal link initiative would also grant access to enough vaccines to cover 20% of the Swiss population.

Health regulator Swissmedic is currently evaluating the safety of several vaccine candidates under its “rolling procedure”, which allows manufacturers to submit the results of test studies in stages. So far, no vaccine has yet been approved.

On Wednesday, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche said it had reached an agreement with Moderna to extend the use of its Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S diagnostic tool to speed up testing of its vaccine.

“To enhance our understanding of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 there would be a benefit in knowing the starting levels of antibodies a person has, prior to vaccination, in order to evaluate any change in antibody levels that the vaccine induces,” Roche stated in a press release.

The Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S diagnostic tool was granted emergency use authorisation by the US health authorities last month.

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