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Everything you need to know about the corona vaccination

Vaccinations against the coronavirus began throughout Switzerland at the start of the year. You can find all the key information here.

Vaccination is free for all insured persons

Would you like to get vaccinated against the coronavirus? You can find out when and where that will be possible from the authorities in the canton where you live. Visit the relevant cantonal website to find out more. Please note that people at especially high risk will be vaccinated first.

Vaccination is free for all insured persons; there is no deductible or retention fee. Part of the cost is covered by mandatory health insurance. The rest is paid by the federal government and the cantons.

Questions before vaccination

Is vaccination voluntary?

Yes. Vaccination is voluntary in Switzerland. There are no plans to make vaccination compulsory.

Why should I get vaccinated?

The coronavirus is highly contagious. Alongside the social distancing and hygiene rules, vaccination is the most effective means thus far of reducing the number of severe cases of the disease and the number of deaths. That is the main objective. The Covid-19 vaccination could therefore prevent Switzerland’s healthcare system from becoming overloaded.

Who pays the vaccination costs?

Vaccination is free for all insured persons; there is no deductible or retention fee. Part of the cost is covered by mandatory health insurance. The rest is paid by the federal government and the cantons.

I'm insured under an alternative insurance model. Do I need a referral from my doctor?

No. Persons insured under an alternative insurance model without a free choice of doctor (e.g., family doctor model) do not need to notify us of the corona vaccination in advance.

Where can I get vaccinated?

The vaccination of people at especially high risk and in other priority target groups began throughout Switzerland on 4 January 2021. 

People aged 75 and over and those with high-risk chronic conditions take top priority in the first few weeks of the vaccination programme. After that, people aged 65-74 and those with chronic illnesses will be vaccinated. Everyone else is asked to be patient.

As delivery of the vaccines is staggered, the vaccination programme will run for several months. The vaccination schedule is determined by the vaccination strategy and vaccination recommendations, as well as the efficacy profiles and availability of the vaccines themselves.

How and where can I register for the vaccination?

You will find information on how vaccination is being conducted in your canton and how to register on the cantonal website.

Can I only be vaccinated in the canton where I live?

No. You’re free to choose where to go for the vaccination. The tariff agreement is valid throughout Switzerland, which means you are not bound to your place of residence or the place where you are receiving ongoing treatment.

However, given the limited amount of vaccine doses, cantons may wish to give priority to their own inhabitants. Please contact the respective vaccination centre.

How is the vaccine administered and how many doses are required?

The vaccine is injected into the upper arm. Two doses are required. The second dose is administered about four weeks after the first. The same vaccine must be used on both occasions. Both doses are necessary in order to provide protection.

If I’ve already had the virus is that relevant for my getting vaccinated?

No. Vaccination is not a problem if you've already had the new coronavirus. The data suggests that you're protected from renewed infection for at least three months. Therefore, it's recommended that you wait until three months after you've had the disease before getting vaccinated. The vaccination provides you with optimum protection and gives your immune system an additional boost.

Questions after vaccination

What side effects can occur after vaccination?

According to the vaccine manufacturers Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, there are no safety concerns to date (as at 16 December 2020). The vaccines are well tolerated.

As is the case with all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. These are usually mild and short-lived.

The most common side effects include:

  • pain, redness or swelling where the needle went in
  • headaches, tiredness
  • muscle and joint pain
  • general symptoms such as chills, feeling feverish or a slight temperature

In very rare cases, severe side effects such as an allergic reaction may occur. A reaction of this kind usually occurs immediately after vaccination. People with a history of severe allergic reactions should take the necessary precautions before getting vaccinated.

No serious, lasting side effects are known as yet. Data is still being collected by the authorities and manufacturing companies. The safety and efficacy of the vaccines are also being monitored on an ongoing basis.

What should I do if I experience side effects?

Mild side effects will usually disappear within a few days. However, if you still feel unwell some time after injection or there has been a change in your well-being, you should consult your doctor.

Coordinated national and international reporting systems have been set up to ensure that possible side effects of the corona vaccination can be detected at an early stage. Swissmedic is responsible for the Swiss reporting system.

How is my corona vaccination documented?

Every person who has the jab will be given a certificate of vaccination signed by the competent medical professional and containing information on which vaccine was administered.

Do I still need to stick to the hygiene and distancing rules after being vaccinated?

Yes. Even if you've been vaccinated, the hygiene and social distancing rules remain important measures for protecting yourself and others from the coronavirus. It is not yet clear whether the vaccination merely stops you from getting ill or whether it also prevents you from spreading the virus to others.

Do I still have to go into quarantine/isolation if I've been vaccinated?

The instructions on quarantine and isolation remain in place until further notice and must be followed. This is because it is not yet clear whether the vaccination also prevents the spread of the virus. However, these instructions are likely to change in the future. This will depend on whether and how well the vaccination protects against transmission of the virus, how many people have been vaccinated and whether there is any drop in the number of cases.

Can I travel freely again if I have a certificate of vaccination?

Each country determines its own entry restrictions. It is already common for proof of vaccination (for example, against yellow fever) to be required for entry to certain countries.

A certificate of vaccination must conform to international standards to be recognised by other countries. The FOPH is following the ongoing deliberations within the World Health Organization (WHO) closely.

Disclaimer

The information above is supplied by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). It is purely for information purposes and is no substitute for medical advice. If experiencing health problems, you should contact your doctor or a medical professional.

 

Exclusion of liability

The information presented here on the products and benefits of the CSS Group is designed to provide a general overview and is in no way complete. Actual details can be found in the statutory provisions of the Federal Health Insurance Act (KVG), the Federal Insurance Contract Act (VVG), the General Insurance Conditions (AVB), and the Supplementary Conditions (ZB), which determine the obligation of the CSS Group to provide benefits. The information is provided «as is» without any warranty and is subject to change at any time.