Swiss authorise COVID booster jabs for the vulnerable

vaccine booster
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Switzerland on Tuesday authorised booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines for the over-65s, as it urged those with no protection at all to get immunised.

The Swissmedic said the booster would be one shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, or a half-dose of Moderna.

"People at especially high risk can receive a booster dose of a vaccine in order to remain adequately protected against severe episodes of COVID-19," the agency said.

A third dose is already recommended for people with weakened immune systems. It can be given to immuno-compromised people after at least 28 days.

In turn, the Swiss health ministry said it now recommended a booster shot for everyone aged over 65, with the roll-out to start in mid-November.

"Significantly higher immunisation coverage is necessary to ensure sufficient vaccination of the population, protect them against severe forms of the disease and prevent overloading the health system," it said.

The wealthy European nation's vaccination rates slowed dramatically over the summer.

Sixty-three percent of the population is fully vaccinated, and the and anti-COVID restrictions movement regularly draws thousands of people to rallies.

The single-shot Janssen vaccine is the only other COVID-19 jab authorised in Switzerland.

© 2021 AFP

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