MOSCOW, February 21 – RIA Novosti. The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health does not rule out that the country may withdraw from the contract for the purchase of the AstraZeneca vaccine against coronavirus, according to the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper, citing the office's vice director Nora Kronig.
The announcement comes amid the recent publication of an indicative coronavirus vaccine supply plan. According to the newspaper, the plan does not include the vaccine for AstraZeneca. At the same time, the plan includes vaccines Novavax and Curevac, which have not yet applied for registration in the country.
According to Kronig, at the moment, the option of withdrawing from the contract is not considered, but such a possibility exists if the vaccine is not approved in the country.
The vaccine approval process is taking a long time as the national pharmaceutical regulator Swissmedic has requested additional data on clinical trials in the US, the newspaper said.
“It is not yet clear what will happen to AstraZeneca. A further transfer of the vaccine is under consideration,” Kronig said.
A spokesperson for AstraZeneca told the newspaper that the company is ready to supply vaccines as soon as the regulator issues approval.
The Swiss government last October signed an agreement with British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to supply 5.3 million doses of the vaccine it is developing.
At the end of last year, the country began mass vaccination against COVID-19. The authorities have approved two vaccines for emergency use. Moderna's drug was approved by the Swissmedic Institute on January 12, and the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine was approved on December 19 last year.