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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 has enough COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 to enable the entire population to be vaccinated. At the moment all adults can have the vaccination in their canton.

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. 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.

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

Yes. Vaccination gives your immune system an additional boost, making sure you have the best possible protection. 

The data suggests that you’re protected from renewed infection for at least six months. We recommend getting a single dose of the vaccine six months after recovering from the illness. You don’t need to have a second dose.

There are exceptions, however: people in the higher-risk category should get vaccinated just three months after recovering from the illness.

Questions after vaccination

What side effects can occur after vaccination?

The Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech 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.

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. This proof of vaccination shows the date and place where you were vaccinated, as well as information on the vaccine that was administered. 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?

The testing strategy remains in place as before. This is because vaccination never guarantees 100% protection. Even if you have had the vaccination it is possible to get the new coronavirus disease again. With the COVID-19 vaccination the chances that you will not suffer a severe case of the disease are higher.

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.

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

If you are fully vaccinated you can be exempted by the cantonal office responsible from contact quarantine after close contact with someone who has tested positive.

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 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.


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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