The Swiss Federal Council has extended its COVID-19 vaccination cost coverage for especially vulnerable individuals beyond the previously planned end date of 2023. The financial burden is shared amongst compulsory health insurance, the federal government, and the Swiss cantons. The Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) currently only recommends vaccination for these vulnerable groups, making it free of charge for them. This group also includes pregnant women, who can receive the vaccine after consulting their healthcare provider.
Emphasis on Vaccination as a Key Preventative Measure
The Swiss government continues to stress that vaccination remains a crucial component in mitigating severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19. Vaccinations are readily available in general practices, hospitals, or vaccination centers for at-risk individuals. However, the federal government will cease to cover vaccination costs in pharmacies starting 2024.
Detailed Report Acknowledges Robust COVID-19 Services
A report commissioned by the Parliament acknowledged the robust network of specialized services for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 and its long-term effects. The report is expected to help the Department of the Interior formulate a strategy to handle COVID-19 as an endemic by the end of the year. The strategy will include measures to prevent and combat the virus.
Transition to a Free Market for Vaccination
The Swiss government foresees a transition towards a free market for vaccination by mid-2024 when they anticipate the market will be capable of meeting the demand. Consequently, the federal government will cease to cover vaccination costs at that point, marking the end of an era of governmental financial support for COVID-19 vaccinations.