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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.

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.

When can I get vaccinated?

Switzerland currently has sufficient COVID-19 vaccine doses to inoculate the entire population. The Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen vaccines have been approved for use for everyone over 12.

You can find out when and where you can get vaccinated from the authorities in your canton – for example, by looking on the cantonal website.

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.

Can I also get vaccinated abroad for free?

The federal government recommends that you have the vaccination in Switzerland if you are insured here. In Switzerland, the cost of the vaccination is borne jointly by the federal government, the cantons and the health insurance companies. If the vaccination is carried out abroad and the costs are not covered by the state in question, they will not be covered by your Swiss insurance either.

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

The vaccine is injected into the upper arm. The number of doses required depends on the vaccine: two with Pfizer/Moderna or one with Janssen. If a second dose is required, it will be 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.

Is vaccination still recommended even if I’ve already had the virus?

Yes. Vaccination is recommended even if you have recovered from COVID. It gives you better protection against becoming infected again.

You are protected from renewed infection for a certain period of time after having the disease, but it's not clear for how long. To give you long-term protection, it is recommended that you get vaccinated within three months of the initial infection. From the 4th week after a confirmed coronavirus infection, one dose of vaccine is sufficient. You don't need to have a second dose.

Questions after vaccination

What side effects can occur after vaccination?

The vaccines being administered in Switzerland are safe and effective. 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 and responds well to treatment. People with a history of severe allergic reactions should take the necessary precautions before getting vaccinated.

In very rare cases, inflammation of the heart muscle or the pericardium has been observed shortly after vaccination (usually within 14 days). It is currently believed that there might be a connection with the vaccination. The majority of these cases were mild and could be treated effectively.

Apart from allergic reactions, no other serious side effects have been reported either at the study stage or by persons who have been vaccinated since the start of the programme. The experts are keeping a close eye on any possible developments.

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 corona vaccination is documented. At most vaccination centres, you will receive proof of vaccination in paper form from the healthcare professional after you have been vaccinated. Vaccination is also documented by means of a COVID certificate. At some vaccination centres, you can get the COVID-19 vaccinations entered directly in your existing vaccination record.

Does the test procedure change if I have had the vaccination?

There's a chance you might still get the novel coronavirus despite being vaccinated. It is therefore recommended that you take a test in the following situations, even if you are fully vaccinated:

  • You have symptoms of the novel coronavirus disease.
  • You are instructed by your competent cantonal authority to get tested (e.g. due to close contact).
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. Current data shows that the transmission of the coronavirus to other people is low after full vaccination. However, the vaccination does not provide 100% protection from infection.

But if you are fully vaccinated, you do not have to social distance at private gatherings with other fully vaccinated people. You can also be exempted from quarantine after close contact with someone who has tested positive. In addition, you're exempt from many of the health-related measures at the border (for example, you don't have to quarantine after travelling).

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

For the first 12 months after becoming fully vaccinated, you don't have to go into quarantine after close contact with someone who has tested positive (close contact quarantine).

Even if you are exempted from the quarantine requirement: Continue to follow the hygiene and social distancing rules and observe the mask-wearing requirements. This is because the vaccination does not completely prevent transmission of the coronavirus.

Can I travel freely again if I have a COVID certificate?

The Swiss COVID certificate is recognised by the EU/EFTA states and makes it easier for you to travel to these countries. However, each country has its own rules on entry. Therefore, you should always check the entry requirements at your destination on that country's official website before setting out.

For travel to EU/EFTA countries, the Re-Open EU website provides an initial overview of the measures in place in individual EU countries.


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.


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