Switzerland: No 2nd Lockdown, Awaiting More Study Data Before Authorizing CV Vaccines

ER Editor: Sweden has a sensible cousin.

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Incomplete data stalls Swiss authorisation of Covid-19 vaccines

Switzerland’s medical regulator Swissmedic says it lacks the necessary information to sign off on three different coronavirus vaccines ordered by the government.

SWISSINFO

The regulator said important data on safety, efficacy and quality are still missing. It has reached out to the manufacturers, who provided data from their studies.

“We lack data on the effectiveness of the clinical trials and on the important subgroups that participated in these large studies,” said Claus Bolte, head of the authorisation division at Swissmedic, at a press briefing on Tuesday organised by the Federal Office of Public Health.

For example, Swissmedic wants to know about the pre-existing illnesses of the people who took part in these studies. According to the regulator, acceptance of such rapidly developed vaccines requires a high degree of trust in manufacturers and approving authorities. It is therefore important to examine very closely the effects on different groups of people.

Rollout plan

The government has already placed orders for several million shots of vaccine from three manufacturers: Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna.

At the press conference, authorities said vaccines will be offered free of charge and priority will be given to the most vulnerable groups and health workers. The services of the army will be enlisted to ensure stockage and distribution and the country’s 26 cantons will be in charge of setting up vaccination centres.

Source

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A Postcard from Switzerland

LOCKDOWN SCEPTICS

Lockdown Sceptics reader has gone to work in Switzerland for the winter, a country which has faced its autumn surge without a new national lockdown.

I’m working in the Swiss canton of Valais for the winter season. I was initially going to be working in France but Macron decided on another full lockdown so that was off, especially as it seems the ski season opening has been pushed back until late January now. The Swiss have been very reluctant to have a lockdown again and at the national (federal) level restrictions are light: masks, limits on numbers gathering and so on. Individual cantons can set their own rules within reason, much like individual states in Germany or the USA. My canton (Valais) has decided to shut restaurants and bars but all shops etc. are open and the lifts are working on weekends. Some of the rules are just stupid, such as wearing a mask on an open ski lift, but as across most of Europe many of the decisions are political and not medical, to play the game whilst ignoring it in private.

The Swiss in the mountains are keen to push ahead again and in about a week the restaurants and bars should be open for business and they are keen to hoover up tourists from Germany, Italy and especially France who are now threatening to stop travellers at the border. The government here knows that the ski season is worth billions and without foreigners from outside Europe and likely no Brits either, they need to make all their money from what they can. Pootling around the resort is a little dull but a lot of places aren’t too bothered about masks either so it feels much more normal. There has been a half-hearted effort at putting up ‘two metres’ signs and similar but they are cheerfully ignored. After months of bullying and shouting from the UK authorities, it feels great to be left alone.

The big moment will be this weekend when all the lifts really start moving as the snow has arrived, all the way down to the valley with more to come. There have been murmurings at federal level about limiting lift capacity and so on but this seems more to settle nerves. If we can get through December, then I see no reason why the Swiss won’t just plough on and be done with it. The trees are coated in snow, the mountains look more chocolate-boxy than ever and hopefully by the time I go home some semblance of sanity will have returned.

Switzerland’s “cases” have been on the decline for weeks, since November 9th, despite no lockdown.

Switzerland is one of the places we’ve highlighted before which proves that lockdowns are not necessary to avert catastrophe and that SAGE’s doom modelling is wrong. Another is Sweden, where the latest EuroMOMO figures show the “second wave” has not yet produced any excess deaths and appears to be on the decline (though these figures could be revised in future weeks).

Can someone please tell Boris, Gove and Hancock?

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Source

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