The Vaccine

According to recommendations from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the Federal Commission for Vaccination Matters (EKIF), have recommended that those who are at an increased risk of contracting severe COVID-19 should be the first vaccinated. Intitially those who are 75 years old and above or have certain pre-existing conditions can be vaccinated.

If you are 75 years old and above, you can make an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination online through the link below or by calling the Ärztefon at 0800 33 66 55. Those with pre-existing conditions are kindly asked to consult with their treating physician.

We also advise health care providers and organizations who are working with the Canton to implement their own vaccination campaigns. More information is available here.

The number of people wanting to be vaccinated immediately exceeds the very limited number of vaccine doses currently available. As a result, all of the available appointments at the EBPI for the month of January have been filled. As more vaccine becomes available, these additional doses will be allocated via physicians to high-risk patients.

For individuals 75 years of age and older, the Health Directorate will implement a new registration option before the end of January whereby those seeking a vaccine can pre-register for a vaccination appointment with us. Those that do will then be contacted and invited for the next available appointment, pending vaccine availability.

The COVID-19 vaccination campaign will last several months and vaccination opportunities in the Canton of Zurich will be continually expanded. Everyone who wants a vaccination will be able to be vaccinated.

Vaccination Appointment Overview

Please arrive on time for your appointment. Please note that we do not have a waiting room in our Vaccination Center so we cannot accommodate early arrivals. When you arrive please report to the entrance of the Vaccination Center located at Hirschengraben 84, 8001 Zürich.

Be sure to bring your:

  • health insurance card (We will not be able to vaccinate you without your health insurance card.)
  • identification card
  • international vaccination card (if available)
  • medication list (if applicable)

Please also fill out this Patient Intake Form, (German Version), (French Version) for the COVID-19 Vaccination. We ask that you print this form, sign it, and then bring it with you to your appointment. A doctor at our Vaccination Center will review this form with you before you are vaccinated.

After your vaccination, you will stay with us for 15 minutes in the quiet room of our Vaccination Center for observation. During this time we will also make your follow-up appointment for your second vaccine dose (4 weeks after the first).

Coverage of Costs

The vaccine will be provided free of charge to all who have compulsory health insurance. Please bring your health insurance card to the appointment.

Click here for the most important questions and answers about the vaccine.

FAQ

Who can be vaccinated?

In principle, the vaccine is approved for anyone 16 years of age or older, with the exception of pregnant women. However, due to the limited number of vaccine doses currently available, only those with a particularly high risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19 will initially be vaccinated. This high risk group includes those who are 75 years old and above, or those with certain pre-existing conditions. Gradually, and with greater vaccine availability, other groups of people will also be able to receive the vaccine.

Who cannot be vaccinated?

Currently pregnant women and persons 16 years of age and younger are not able to be vaccinated because there is not enough data available on the safety of the vaccine in these groups (however clinical trials are currently in progress). For people with allergies, please see I have allergies. Can I still receive the COVID-19 vaccine?.

How safe is the vaccine?

The Swissmedic-approved COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech is considered very safe. It has been tested in large clinical trials and has now also been administered to millions of people around the world. Swissmedic approved the vaccine through its normal, thorough approval mechanisms, as opposed through an emergency approval. This is the same process that is applied to all other vaccines approved in Switzerland. So far, no serious side effects have occurred in those who have been vaccinated.

I have allergies. Can I still receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Generally, it is not a problem to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech's vaccine if you have allergies. Since its approval in other countries around the world, there have been very rare cases (< 5 in 100,000 vaccinated) of people who have had a severe allergic reaction immediately following vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine. However in each of the cases the affected person had a previously documented severe allergic reactions to vaccines or medications, or who have been sensitive to any of the vaccine ingredients, have had a severe allergic reaction immediately following vaccination with Pfizer/Biontech. If you have had a severe allergic reaction (e.g. anaphylaxis) in the past, the cause of which is unknown, we recommend prior clarification with GP (General Practitioner) or by attending our allergy consultation hours (every Thursday afternoon). At present, however, vaccination is not recommended at all if an allergy to ingredients of the Covid-19 vaccine (e.g. PEG) is present. In order to be prepared for unexpected allergic reactions, we have developed an emergency concept. We also have a specially trained medical expert on site.

Please inform us about your known allergies at the beginning of the vaccination appointment. Whether a vaccination can be carried out is decided by the doctor on site. If you are unsure, please contact your doctor before the vaccination.

I had an allergic reaction after receiving the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Can I still receive the 2nd dose?

If the allergic reaction to the first dose is considered severe (e.g., anaphylactic shock), you cannot receive the 2nd dose of the same vaccine. At most, a repeated first dose vaccination may be considered if another vaccine is approved. In the event of mild allergic reactions during or after the 1st dose, the 2nd dose may still be considered after consultation and clarification with an allergist.

How well am I protected after the first vaccination and how well after the second? How long does the vaccination protection last?

According to current data, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has a vaccine protection of about 50% two weeks after the first vaccine dose, which increases to over 90% one week after the second dose. It is currently unknown how long this protection remains, but it is something that is being intently monitored.

I had COVID-19. Should I still be vaccinated?

You should discuss this with your GP (General Practitioner) or with a specialist in infectious diseases. It is safe to vaccinate after a lab confirmed COVID-19 infection. However the extent to which this results in a further benefit beyond the naturally acquired protection is not yet clear on the basis of available data. You need to wait at least three months after the date of your confirmed COVID-19 infection before being vaccinated.

I am immunosuppressed. Can I be vaccinated against COVID-19?

Yes but it is important to discuss this with your treating specialist who can make a recommendation that is tailored to you.

Will a flu or pneumococcal vaccination also protect me against COVID-19?

No. Both of these vaccinations generate an immune response against other pathogens. There is no protection against COVID-19.

What are the most common side effects?

No serious side effects were reported during the clinical trials for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. About 10% of the people who participated in the trials reported mild side effects after the second dose, similar to those can occur with the flu vaccination. These include fever, fatigue and body aches. These mild symptoms usually disappeared within 24 hours. These side effects are not dangerous, but can be unpleasant. In addition, there may be a small localized reaction at the injection site (redness, swelling, pain), comparable to other known vaccinations.

In rare cases, allergic reactions may occur, especially in people with known and severe allergies. Our medical professionals are well trained and prepared for responding to any possible allergic reaction.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine uses a novel technology. How safe is it?

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine uses what is known as mRNA technology. In this process, part of the messenger RNA (mRNA) is used for the vaccine. This partial mRNA contains the blueprint for a surface protein of the coronavirus called a spike protein. Using this blueprint, the body of the vaccinated person produces this protein itself. This protein then, which is harmless to the body, simulates an infection and stimulates an immune defense. This effectively prevents COVID-19 disease.

All components of the vaccine, as well as the protein produced by the body, are completely broken down again. Since only a surface protein is produced, and not the virus itself, no viral replication can occur as a result of the vaccination. The mRNA is rapidly degraded and cannot penetrate the cell nucleus or the genetic material (DNA).

Research on this technique has been ongoing for many years. Its use in the vaccine field is new. However, there are medications based on this principle that are in use today.

What does the vaccination cost?

The vaccination is free of charge for all who have compulsory health insurance.

There are no more free appointments. What can I do?

We will initially receive a limited number of vaccine doses so it may be that all of our available appointments are full. We will open new vaccination windows as soon as they are available. Thank you for your patience. We recommend visiting our website again at a later date to try to get an appointment.

What should I do if I experience side effects from the vaccine?

After your vaccination, you will stay with us for 15 minutes so that we can provide you with medical care in the event that any side effects occur. If you feel unwell after you leave our Vaccination Center, please contact your GP (General Practitioner), the emergency room or another primary care facility, or the Ärztefon at 0800 33 66 55.

To date, no serious side effects have been reported from the studies. Mild side effects, such as fever, body aches, fatigue and mild pain at the injection site, occurred in about 10 percent of the participants in the clinical trials.

Can I stop wearing a mask and social distancing after I get the vaccine?

No. All hygiene and social distancing rules must continue to be observed even after the second vaccine dose. There is no evidence yet that vaccinated people do not transmit the virus, even if they themselves will not contract COVID-19.

I would like to make a vaccination appointment for an elderly relative (or another person at risk). How do I proceed?

After receiving consent of the relative/risk person, you can make an appointment for the person with us on our website. If there are any uncertainties or questions, you should first consult your GP (General Practitioner).

Please note that in order to use the space in our vaccination center as effectively as possible, we ask that you do not accompany your relative/risk person to their vaccination appointment. If your relative/risk person needs assistance with their mobility, please see the next question.

I have difficulty hearing/speaking and/or walking. Can someone accompany me to my appointment?

One person may accompany you to your appointment. Our Vaccination Center is wheelchair accessible.

Will I receive an immunity certificate?

You will receive confirmation that you received the COVID-19 vaccine and according to current data, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine offers more than 90% protection against COVID-19. However, it is still uncertain to what extent the virus can be transmitted to others, even by those who have been vaccinated.

Last update: December 30, 2020 at 9:28:48 AM