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23 Dec, 2020 14:52

90-year-old woman first to get Covid-19 jab in Switzerland

90-year-old woman first to get Covid-19 jab in Switzerland

Switzerland kicked off its vaccination program against the coronavirus on Wednesday, with a 90-year-old woman becoming the first to get the shot ahead of large-scale rollout across the Alpine state.

The landmark injection was made in the central Swiss canton of Lucerne. The elderly lady, who got it, lives in a nursing home. Her name remains undisclosed.

The woman received the vaccine jointly developed by US pharma giant, Pfizer, and Germany's BioNTech. The course will require a booster jab within three weeks.

She's not the oldest person to get a shot from Covid-19 as 102-year-old Elsie Allcock of the UK was also vaccinated earlier this week.

“Residents of nursing and care homes will be first to get vaccines,” Lucerne officials said, expressing hope that the canton's general population will get the shots against the coronavirus by the end of 2021.

Switzerland approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at the weekend and has so far been supplied with 107,000 doses of it. The immunization, which must be kept at minus 70 degrees Celsius and maintains its properties in a regular fridge for only five days, is being stored by the Swiss military who will hand it out to the local authorities.

Large-scale vaccination in Switzerland will begin in the coming weeks. Due to the Alpine nation's decentralized system, its 26 cantons will develop plans to distribute the vaccine themselves. The rural canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden also started giving out jabs on Wednesday, while Zurich, which has the largest population, expects to kick off its campaign on January 4.

Also on rt.com People older than 80 among first to get jab as Austria prepares to launch mass vaccination against Covid-19

With a population of 8.5 million, Switzerland has ordered 15.8 million doses of the vaccine not only from Pfizer/BioNTech, but also from Moderna and AstraZeneca, whose candidates are currently under review by the medical authorities. The country has recorded over 420,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and more than 6,900 deaths due to the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

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