Coronavirus vaccination

Vaccination protects, relieves the burden on the health system and reduces the negative effects of the pandemic. This website provides all the information you need.

Table of contents

Who can be vaccinated 

Everyone from the age of 5 can be vaccinated (basic immunisation). Booster vaccinations with an mRNA vaccine are possible from the age of 12. Appointments at vaccination centres must be booked via the cantonal vaccination tool VacMe or the vaccination hotline 0848 33 66 11. Basic immunisation and the recommended booster vaccinations are free of charge. Booster vaccinations outside the official recommendation are subject to a charge, but are possible. Vaccinations are given in the cantonal vaccination centres, in pharmacies and in doctors' surgeries.

Advantages of getting vaccinated

The aim of vaccination is to provide the best possible protection for the population against COVID-19. Six good reasons to get vaccinated:

Advantages:

  • You protect yourself from getting very sick with COVID-19.
  • You prevent potential long-term debilitating effects of COVID-19 (long COVID).
  • You get immunity the safe way.
  • You help to reduce the number of diseases and to protect the people around you.
  • You help to relieve pressure on the people working in healthcare.
  • You help to curb the effects of the pandemic.

With the currently available vaccines, it is not possible to prevent all infections; nor is this necessary, as the goal remains to prevent severe infections as far as possible. Study and surveillance data from other countries as well as the current epidemiological course in Switzerland show that in all age groups the occurrence of severe disease is rare in fully vaccinated individuals.

Recommendations for basic immunisation

Basic immunisation with the recommended mRNA vaccines Comirnaty from Pfizer/BioNTech and Spikevax from Moderna consists of two vaccinations 4 weeks apart or a combination of a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and one vaccine dose at least 4 weeks apart, regardless of the sequence.

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Recommendation

The EKIF published a recommendation for COVID-19 vaccination for children aged five to eleven years on 14 December 2021: Vaccination is recommended for children aged five to eleven years whose parents or legal guardians wish them to have it based on the individual risk-benefit assessment for their child. The recommendation is based on the authorisation by Swissmedic of the Comirnaty® mRNA vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech for children aged between five and eleven.

The recommendation for vaccination applies particularly to children who

Advantages:

  • already have a severe health burden due to a chronic disease. This is to prevent, if possible, any additional illness or infection, such as in the case of a severe neuro-muscular disease.
  • are close contacts (household members) of persons who cannot protect themselves sufficiently with the vaccination, e.g. due to immunodeficiency.

For children with a confirmed coronavirus infection who belong to the above-mentioned two groups, only one vaccination dose is recommended. No vaccination is currently recommended for all other recovered children.

Vaccination at vaccination centres and in paediatric practices

Children are vaccinated at the reference vaccination centre EBPI in Zurich and at the vaccination centre in Winterthur. Registration can be made via the cantonal vaccination tool. In addition, some paediatrician's practices vaccinate. Ask your paediatrician directly about this.

Vaccination only when accompanied

Children between the ages of 5 and 11 must be accompanied by a legal guardian for vaccination.

Vaccination hotline for advice

If you need special advice, please contact the vaccination hotline on 0848 33 66 11. The hotline will provide initial information and make an appointment if necessary.

Vaccination recommended for all adolescents

Vaccination is recommended without reservations to all adolescents aged 12-15 years according to the adapted vaccination recommendation of the EKIF and FOPH (26.08.2021). There is more data on the safety of vaccination of adolescents aged 12-17 years available from the USA (over 9 million Comirnaty vaccinated).

Vaccine Spikevax and Comirnaty approved for 12 years and older

In addition to the vaccine Comirnaty from Pfizer/BioNTech, the vaccine Spikevax from Moderna has also been approved by Swissmedic for adolescents aged 12 and over. The Janssen vaccine from Johnson & Johnson is not approved for use from the age of 12; it may only be administered from the age of 18.

Vaccinations at vaccination centres

Adolescents are vaccinated at the vaccination centre in Winterthur and at the reference vaccination centre EBPI in Zurich.

Recommended accompaniment 

Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 who are to receive the Covid-19 vaccine at the above mentioned vaccination centres must either be personally accompanied to the vaccination centre by a legal representative or bring the following declaration of consent, signed by the legal representative, to the vaccination centre.

It is recommended to accompany the children and adolescents to the vaccination centre.

Appointment booking online

Adolescents who are accompanied to the vaccination by a legal representative or who bring a signed consent form from them can register for the vaccination via the cantonal vaccination tool.

Unaccompanied adolescents without a declaration of consent can also register for a vaccination appointment at the Children's Hospital via the cantonal vaccination tool.

Vaccination hotline in case of need for advice

In case of need for advice, the vaccination hotline should be contacted: +41 84 833 66 11. This hotline will provide initial information and, if necessary, arrange an appointment at the Children's Hospital. 

Vaccination of accompanying persons

Accompanying persons of the adolescents can be vaccinated on site - without prior appointment. They are asked to bring the following documents: official ID, health insurance card, any additional documents (e.g. medical certificate), any proof of COVID-19 disease.

In very rare cases, inflammation of the heart muscle or the pericardium was observed shortly after vaccination, mostly in young men. In the vast majority of cases, these were mild and could be treated well. Typical symptoms are chest pain, shortness of breath and palpitations.

In people under 30 years of age, such inflammations were observed more frequently after vaccination with the Moderna vaccine. Therefore, vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is preferably recommended for people under 30 years of age. Inflammation of the heart muscle or pericardium is much more common after infection with coronavirus than after vaccination with Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. The benefits of COVID 19 vaccination clearly outweigh any possible risks, even in people under 30 years of age. The risk of a severe side effect from the vaccination is thus much smaller than the risk of becoming seriously ill after an infection with the coronavirus.

Vaccination recommended for all pregnant women

Vaccination is recommended to all pregnant women after the 1st trimester (from 12 weeks of pregnancy) according to the vaccination recommendation of the FOPH and the EKIF. In principle, however, it is also possible earlier in pregnancy. The recommended vaccination schedule with mRNA vaccines does not differ from that of the normal population. The Janssen vaccine from Johnson & Johnson is not recommended for pregnant women.

Benefits of vaccination clearly outweigh possible risks

Severe courses of COVID-19 are much more frequent in pregnant women than in non-pregnant persons of the same age. In addition, the risk of premature birth is significantly increased by infection with the coronavirus. Vaccination before or during pregnancy therefore protects the pregnant woman and the unborn child.

Based on increasing evidence on the efficacy and safety of vaccination in pregnant women, the clear benefit of vaccination has been shown in balance with the risks of disease and potential side effects of vaccination.

Written consent no longer necessary

With the adjustment of the recommendation, written consent of the pregnant woman willing to be vaccinated is no longer required for vaccination. A medical certificate is also no longer required for vaccination. With the exception of vaccination in a pharmacy, a doctor's prescription for the vaccination is here still required.

In principle, persons with severe immunodeficiency should consult their doctor before vaccination. The mRNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are recommended for vaccination, but not the Janssen vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.

Administration of a third dose

In Persons with severe immunodeficiency, especially due to transplantation, autoimmune diseases or malignant diseases (e.g. leukaemia), and who are being treated with a severely immunocompromising therapy, antibody formation may be limited or absent after complete vaccination. Therefore, to provide the best possible protection for these particularly vulnerable individuals, the indication for a third dose of mRNA vaccine should be considered for this special group of severely immunocompromised patients.

According to current data, a third dose can improve protection in some of these patients. Which persons belong to this group and the exact vaccination recommendations can be found in the current vaccination recommendation of the FOPH.

Note

The attending physician makes an indication in this regard and registers the person for the third vaccination.

Allergy sufferers with a history of severe reactions must consult their doctor before vaccination. If you are allergic to any component of a vaccine, a doctor's certificate is required for vaccination at a vaccination centre.

If you have a confirmed allergy to mRNA vaccines and are at least 18 years old, you can be vaccinated with the Janssen vector vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.

Advantages:

  • Vaccination is recommended within 3 months after confirmed infection and as soon as possible if the 3 months are already over.

Advantages:

  • Vaccination is possible from 4 weeks after confirmed infection.

Advantages:

  • Only one dose of the mRNA vaccine is recommended.

Advantages:

  • The second vaccination will be deleted on the spot at the first vaccination date after checking for confirmed COVID-19 disease.
  • An infection within four weeks of the first vaccination is considered equivalent to a second vaccination, which is why a second vaccination will no longer be necessary.

Advantages:

  • Recovered, unvaccinated immunodeficient persons particularly at risk should continue to receive two vaccine doses.

Antibody tests should not be routinely carried out either before or after vaccinations. This is because antibody titres do not allow any conclusion to be drawn about reliable and lasting protection. Protection against COVID-19 is not based on antibodies alone, but primarily on the presence of memory cells. These cannot be detected with serology.

However, in an unvaccinated person the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (IgG), if already done for other reasons, can be used as confirmation of infection. This means that this person then needs a single vaccination dose. If antibodies (IgG) against the nucleocapsid of SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in a vaccinated person, it can be assumed that the person has been infected, since these antibodies cannot result from an immune reaction to vaccination. If these antibodies against the nucleocapsid are detected before the second vaccination, e.g. due to an undesired severe vaccination reaction after the first vaccination, this allows the second vaccination to be dispensed with.

The costs for serological SARS-CoV-2 antibody analyses are currently not covered.

People over the age of 18 can make an appointment for vaccination with the vaccine Janssen by Johnson & Johnson directly in the cantonal vaccination tool. Vaccination protection is given three weeks after vaccination. Accordingly, the certificate is valid on the 22nd day after vaccination.

Recommended supplementary vaccination with mRNA vaccine after one to three months

People who were vaccinated with one dose of Janssen less than four months ago are recommended to supplement the basic immunisation with one dose of mRNA vaccine at a minimum interval of 28 days after the 1st vaccination dose («off-label use»).

Recommended booster vaccination with mRNA vaccine after four months

The recommended booster vaccination with an mRNA vaccine should be given at the earliest four months after this supplement to the basic immunisation.

Explicitly only persons aged 18 years and older who cannot be vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine for medical reasons or who refuse mRNA vaccines are recommended to receive a further (2nd dose) with the Janssen vaccine at the earliest two months after completion of the basic immunisation.

Booster vaccination

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4 months after basic immunisation for everyone aged 12 and over

The first booster vaccination with the mRNA vaccines Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech) and Spikevax (Moderna) is recommended for all persons aged 12 years and older 4 months after completed basic immunisation. The first booster vaccination is free of charge.

For persons aged 12-17 years, booster vaccination with Comirnaty is recommended, and for persons aged 18-29 years, Comirnaty is also preferably recommended (regardless of whether Comirnaty or Spikevax was used for basic immunisation).

Booster vaccination is also recommended for pregnant women from the second trimester of pregnancy and breastfeeding women.

Unaccompanied minors aged 12 to 15 years must bring the following consent form from a legal guardian. However, the Department of Health recommends that young people be accompanied to the vaccination by a legal guardian.

As of 5 July 2022, the EKIF and the FOPH also recommend a second booster vaccination for people aged 80 and over to increase their vaccination protection against severe disease for at least a short time. The further booster vaccination should be administered no earlier than 4 months after the last vaccination dose and is free of charge.

The second booster vaccinations are administered in the cantonal vaccination centres, in about 70 pharmacies as well as in doctor's surgeries. Appointments for the vaccination centres as well as pharmacies can be booked via the cantonal vaccination tool VacMe or via the vaccination hotline 0848 33 66 11.

Due to the current epidemiological situation in Switzerland, the EKIF and FOPH do not currently recommend any further booster vaccination for all other groups of people.
 

The FOPH and EKIF do not currently recommend a second booster vaccination for the remaining groups of people. Since 4 July 2022, anyone who nevertheless wishes to receive one can do so at their own expense at the cantonal vaccination centres EBPI Zurich and Winterthur, as well as in doctors' surgeries and pharmacies. The vaccination costs CHF 60 at the cantonal centres, which must be paid on the spot. It cannot be ruled out that individual doctors' practices and pharmacies may charge a higher price. It is therefore recommended that people who are willing to be vaccinated inform themselves about the costs in advance. The Department of Health also recommends that persons willing to be vaccinated inform themselves in advance about the payment modalities at the chosen vaccination site.

The first two vaccinations (basic immunisation) and the first booster vaccination remain free of charge for all persons.

Appointments can be booked via the cantonal vaccination tool and via the vaccination hotline 0848 33 66 11. Persons aged 12 years and older whose last vaccination was at least four months ago are eligible for vaccination.

Persons aged 18 years and older who have been vaccinated with a dose of the vector vaccine Janssen at least four months ago are recommended a booster vaccination with an mRNA vaccine. This is an «off-label use», as there is no authorisation from Swissmedic for this, but there is a recommendation from the EKIF.

Persons aged 18 and over who were vaccinated with one dose of Janssen less than four months ago are recommended to supplement the basic immunisation with one dose of mRNA vaccine at a minimum interval of 28 days after the 1st vaccination dose (also «off-label use»). The recommended booster vaccination with an mRNA vaccine should take place at the earliest four months after this supplement to the basic immunisation.

Explicitly only persons aged 18 years and older who cannot be vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine for medical reasons or who refuse mRNA vaccines are recommended a further (2nd dose) with the Janssen vaccine at the earliest two months after completion of the basic immunisation.

If you have had a confirmed infection with coronavirus after initial immunisation with an mRNA vaccine, it is recommended to have a booster from 4 weeks after this infection. Added to this, more than 4 months must have elapsed since your last vaccination.

All booster vaccinations given before six months have elapsed after basic immunisation are considered so-called «off-label», as there is no authorisation from Swissmedic for them. Therefore, persons willing to be vaccinated must sign a corresponding consent at the vaccination site.

Booking appointments

Registration in the cantonal vaccination tool VacMe

Advantages:

  • Have your health insurance card ready.
  • After completing the registration, you will receive a six-digit code. Keep this code in a safe place. You will need it for booking appointments and as an admission ticket to the vaccination centre.

Booking appointments

The booking of vaccination appointments is done via the same vaccination tool as the registration. 

Advantages:

  • Select the vaccination location and book your vaccination appointments.
  • To change or cancel a vaccination appointment, please log in to the cantonal vaccination tool again using your e-mail address or your chosen username.
  •  If you register by telephone via the vaccination hotline, you can only book an appointment by telephone.

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Vaccination hotline: 0848 33 66 11

Monday to Sunday: 08.00–20.00 (German, English, French)

Answering questions about the pandemic, vaccination and certificates. You can also get help here if you are unable to register online.

Costs within Switzerland max. 0.08 francs/minute (exception: public payphones).

Where to vaccinate

In the canton of Zurich you can choose between different locations for vaccination: 

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Vaccination appointments are still available at the following vaccination centres:

Advantages:

  • vaccination centre EBPI Zurich
  • vaccination centre Winterthur

When booking an appointment, the vaccination centre can be selected. The vaccination centres also offer appointments without pre-booking. To avoid waiting times, it is nevertheless recommended to book an appointment in advance via the cantonal vaccination tool or the vaccination hotline 0848 33 66 11. Information on opening hours and walk-in offers can be found on the websites of the vaccination centres.

Pharmacies are also part of the close-knit network of vaccination facilities. When booking an appointment on the registration platform, these can be selected as a vaccination site. People aged 16 and over are vaccinated at the pharmacies.

Under the following link you will find the pharmacies in the canton of Zurich that offer vaccinations. They are marked with the note «COVID-19».

You will need to present the following for being vaccinated:

Advantages:

  • Six-digit code (printed out or as a QR code), provided you have registered in advance in the cantonal vaccination tool.
  • Health insurance card
  • Official identity card
  • Vaccination card (optional)
  • Allergy sufferers with a history of severe reactions: medical certificate
  • Pregnant women: a doctor's prescription at pharmacies
  • Persons with a history of COVID-19: laboratory confirmation (PCR test, rapid antigen test or antibody test)
  • Unaccompanied 12- to 15-year-olds: declaration of consent from a legal representative (exception: children's hospital).

The personal details as well as the place of residence will be checked at the reception.

Documentation of the vaccination

Proof of vaccination / Vaccination record

Your vaccinations are documented in the cantonal vaccination tool, and you can download the proof of vaccination there. If you wish, you can also obtain a printed proof of vaccination from the vaccination centre. This proof of vaccination lists the date and location of the vaccination, as well as information on the vaccine administered (trade name, manufacturer and batch number). If you have one, bring your vaccination record (»vaccine booklet”) with you to both vaccination appointments to have the COVID-19 vaccinations entered there as well.

The proof of vaccination/vaccination record is a medical certificate and not an official document.

The vaccines and how they work

The vaccines are procured by the federal government; four are currently approved:

Advantages:

  • Comirnaty® (Pfizer/BioNTech)
  • Spikevax® (Moderna)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen® (Janssen)
  • Nuvaxovid® (Novavax)

For further information on vaccination with regard to procurement, approval, way of working, safety, and risks please refer to the following links:

AERZTEFON Medical hotline

+41 80 033 66 55  (around the clock)

COVID-19 vaccination infoline (FOPH)

+41 80 088 66 44 (every day from 6am - 11pm)

Vaccination progress

Here you can find the current status of vaccinations carried out in the canton of Zurich:

Further information

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Fact sheets & downloads

President of the Government Council calls for vaccination

Regierungspräsidentin Jacqueline Fehr ruft per Video zur Corona-Impfung auf
Regierungspräsidentin Jacqueline Fehr ruft zur Corona-Impfung auf – Untertitel in 15 Sprachen verfügbar (Auswahl über Youtube-Einstellungen).

Contact

Gesundheitsdirektion – Impfung

Address

Stampfenbachstrasse 30
Postfach
8090 Zürich
Route (Google)

Phone

+41 84 833 66 11

Impfhotline

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