SWITZERLAND — Switzerland will not recommend a COVID-19 vaccine for its citizens during the spring and summer seasons, even for those at high risk of experiencing severe illness from contracting the virus.
The country’s latest recommendation regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots came directly from the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), which declared most people in the country had either already been vaccinated “and/or contracted and recovered from COVID-19” at this point.
“Their immune system has therefore been exposed to the coronavirus,” the FOPH insisted in its guidance, adding that “in spring/summer 2023, the virus will likely circulate less.”
The FOPH also noted that current variants of COVID-19 “cause rather mild illness,” but pointed out that if a wave of infections were to emerge, the recommendation would be adjusted.
Additionally, the Swiss FOPH said it will revaluate its COVID-19 vaccine recommendations later this year and update them as needed.
Individuals who are at high risk of experiencing severe illness from COVID-19 can still get a vaccination following an individual consultation with their doctor, according to the Swiss FOPH, but the agency stopped short of keeping the recommendation in place for this group of individuals.
If, after a consultation with a doctor, a patient does not get a recommendation for a vaccine, the patient can still get it, but they will be forced to cover the cost themselves.
Switzerland’s decision to rescind its COVID-19 vaccine recommendations follows other European countries that have severely loosened their recommendations since the COVID-19 vaccine was released.
Earlier this year, France stopped recommending COVID-19 vaccines for the general public, which came almost a full year after it lifted the requirement that foreign tourists be vaccinated. Denmark halted its COVID-19 vaccine recommendations all the way back in 2022.
Most European counties have also lifted vaccine requirements for foreign travelers, and some have also scaled back recommendations for younger people amid myocarditis concerns.