In the spring, Swissmedic authorised the COVID-19 vaccine Janssen" developed by the pharmaceutical corporation Johnson & Johnson According to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) schedule, it will be available from the middle of next week.
Vector vaccine as an alternative to mRNA vaccines
On 22 March 2021, Swissmedic authorised the vaccine of the healthcare group Johnson & Johnson. The FOPH, which is responsible for buying and distributing vaccines to the cantons, has now purchased the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. According to the FOPH schedule, it will be available for administration from the middle of next week. This vector vaccine will give the Swiss population an alternative to the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna.
The vaccine is administered once and is authorised for people aged 18 and over. It is based on a virus that contains the blueprint for the spike proteins of the coronavirus – the basis for triggering the desired immune response in the human immune cells. The difference between a vector vaccine and an mRNA vaccine primarily concerns the way in which the information for producing the spike protein enters the body's cells: this is done either via nanoparticles or via a virus. All vaccine types reviewed by Swissmedic for authorisation have shown a high level of efficacy and a positive benefit-risk profile.
Medicines and vaccines can produce unwanted side effects after administration. Swissmedic documents these reported effects and publishes the findings at regular intervals. The reporting and evaluation system elicits new information about medicines that was not known at the time the application for authorisation was submitted. Adverse drug reactions can be reported in the "Incident reporting" section of the Swissmedic website. According to the Therapeutic Products Act, medical personnel are required to report any previously unknown or other medically important adverse effects to Swissmedic within 15 days. Patients are entitled to report side effects. Every report helps Swissmedic to analyse and learn more about medicines in widespread use and, if necessary, implement measures for the benefit of the Swiss population.