On this page you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions about mRNA vaccines.
The vaccines against COVID-19 have already been thoroughly tested during their development and then carefully reviewed by Swissmedic experts. Only vaccines that have been shown to be safe, effective and of high quality are authorised in Switzerland. No evidence of lasting adverse effects on health has emerged to date.
Switzerland only authorises vaccines whose efficacy has been proved. The vaccine manufacturers have completed preclinical and clinical trials to investigate their efficacy and safety. The results of the clinical trials have shown a level of protection against severe COVID-19 of 94 percent or more. According to the available data, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses are also well protected against an outbreak or severe forms of the disease.
A vaccination is a highly effective method for protecting your health. The COVID-19 vaccines give the immune system instructions on how to detect the virus and ward off an outbreak of the disease. You can find more detailed information in our explanatory videos on vaccines:
No, quite the opposite. The course of the illness in the event of infection is highly individual and unpredictable. The vaccination mobilises the body's natural defences and thereby prevents severe forms of the illness, which can cause permanent damage to health. The vaccination works together with the body and its natural defences: by getting to know the virus, the body learns how to protect itself against an outbreak of the disease in case you are infected later on.
Although this question cannot yet be answered definitively, the latest information shows that the protection against serious illness lasts for at least 12 months. Furthermore, there is currently no evidence to suggest that this protection against serious forms of the illness declines after this time.
The latest data show that the possibility of coronavirus transmission to other people is low after full vaccination.
If you experience side effects after the COVID-19 vaccination, contact the healthcare professional that vaccinated you or your doctor. Your doctor knows you and your medical history and will be able to give you professional advice. Moreover, she/he has a reporting obligation towards Swissmedic and will inform us about adverse drug reactions.
No, the messenger RNA provides your cells with information about the surface characteristics of the virus so that the body can then prepare the immune response that will be triggered in the event of any future contact. Since the mRNA does not enter the protected cell nucleus (which is where your genetic material is located), it does not interact with your DNA at any time.
Since the clinical trials were not yet concluded at the time of authorisation, the vaccines have been given temporary authorisation for a period of two years. A complete dossier is required for unlimited authorisation. The vaccine manufacturers continuously provide further data, which should enable a “definitive” authorisation to be granted after the temporary authorisation expires.
Across the world, science and industry have worked together to focus on the development of vaccines. Research and development resources were pooled and used in a targeted manner to produce a vaccine against the coronavirus. As regards vaccine manufacture, various development phases could be carried out at the same time, which helped to accelerate the process.
Swissmedic does not issue vaccination recommendations as this is the responsibility of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the Federal Commission for Vaccination (FCV).
The common side effects include:
- reactions at the injection site such as pain, redness and swelling;
- headaches, tiredness;
- muscle and joint pains;
- general symptoms such as shivering, feeling feverish or actual fever
The vaccine does not affect your body’s ability to become pregnant. It does not affect the future development of the placenta or the course of any future pregnancy.
Nor does the vaccination have any adverse effects on you or your child if you are breastfeeding.
No. The COVID-19 vaccines are not infectious and do not contain any viruses. After vaccination, no viruses are produced or shed. It is not possible for a vaccine, its constituents or coronaviruses to be transmitted from vaccinated to unvaccinated individuals as a result of vaccination.