Second anti-Covid vaccine for Swiss teenagers approved

Spikevax is the second vaccine to get temporary authorisation by the Swiss authorities for use to prevent the spread of Covid among adolescents aged 12 to 17. Keystone/Gary Coronado/Pool

The Swiss medical regulator has extended an authorisation of Moderna’s anti-Covid-19 vaccine for adolescents aged 12-17.

This content was published on August 9, 2021 minutes

Swissmedic said it reviewed an application for the Moderna vaccine, Spikevax, based on an ongoing study with 3,732 children.

“In the age group studied, and with the dosage remaining the same as for adults, the vaccine produced a similar immune response compared to young adults aged 18 to 25,” it said in a statement published on MondayExternal link.

Swissmedic added that the most frequent side effects were also similar, and that clinical trials found the efficacy against the coronavirus disease to be about 93%.

Moderna’s Spikevax is the second vaccine to been given the green light for teenagers by the Swiss authorities. In June it approved the use of a product by Pfizer/BioNTech for the 12-15-year-old age group.

The Federal Office of Public Health and a government advisory committee both recommend jabs for adolescents in this age group, notably individuals with a health risk or living with particularly vulnerable people.

The government has said that there are enough doses of vaccine available to double-jab all individuals wishing to get inoculated in Switzerland.

However, experts say it might take some time before a vaccine is available for children younger than 12.

Infections on the rise

On Monday, officials recorded 3,144 new cases of Covid-19 infections over the past three days. That’s up 55% on the previous weekend. The number of hospital admissions due to Covid-19 has increased by 38 since last Friday.

So far, just over 49% of the population has been fully vaccinated and about 6% have had a first jab. The target rate outlined by Interior Minister Alain Berset is 80%.

The government is due to discuss the pandemic on Wednesday, at its first regular meeting after the summer recess.

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