Switzerland signed a contract for up to 5.3 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed and tested by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, the Swiss government said on Friday.
“The Swiss federal government wants to assure members of the Swiss public rapid access to COVID-19 vaccines,” it said in a statement. “Given that it is still not clear which vaccines will ultimately prevail, the government is taking a diversified approach. It has now signed an agreement with UK pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca and the Swedish government for the delivery of up to 5.3 million doses of vaccine.”
The contract is based on an agreement between the European Commission and AstraZeneca for the delivery of up to 400 million doses for Europe, it added.
Swiss health officials refrained from new nationwide measures to curb spread of the novel coronavirus as the number of infections mounted on Thursday, instead urging residents to redouble their efforts to embrace existing hygiene and distancing recommendations.
The number of new coronavirus infections reported in Switzerland has risen by 3,105 cases in a new daily record, data from Switzerland’s public health agency showed on Friday.
The agency reported a total of 74,422 confirmed cases in Switzerland and neighbouring principality Liechtenstein. The death toll rose by five people to 1,823.