The divided Swiss parliament wants the government to cancel orders for 14 m Covid-19 vaccine doses and renegotiate agreements for half of the remaining supply.
Switzerland had placed an order of seven million doses from Pfizer/Biontech and the same quantity from Moderna to safeguard the population from future outbreaks. The orders were supposed to cover Switzerland’s 8.9 million people by 2023.
The scope of the order has the parliament divided, with House of Representatives supporting it but the Senate calling it excessive.
Although the differences could not be resolved on Thursday, the proposition that saves the state funds must take precedence in procurement cases.
Which means that the Senate’s argument was successful, forcing the government to cut the order in half, to about 7 million doses. The bill is expected to be reduced from CHF780 780 million dollars to CHF560 million as a result.
Another (unnamed) manufacturer has also been ordered a million doses of non-mRNA vaccine.
According to Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, Switzerland may have to spend more for each dose because the same price is no longer available.
The Federal Office of Public Health affirmed last month that approximately 620,000 doses of Moderna in its stockpile had been destroyed due to expiration. It’s not impossible that future batches will suffer the same fate.
To ensure equitable vaccine distribution, Switzerland announced in February that it will donate up to 15 million coronavirus vaccine shots to the COVAX initiative.
Already, 34 million doses have been purchased for 2022. Approximately 70percent of the population have had their immunizations.