As at 21 January 2021, Swissmedic, Switzerland’s drug approval authority, had received 42 reports of suspected adverse drug reactions in connection with the first COVID-19 vaccinations in Switzerland, it said in a press release.
Experts at Swissmedic, are currently looking these cases. However, so far their analysis has not found anything leading the body to change its positive benefit/risk ratio of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines it has approved, which include the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
26 (62%) of the 42 cases were not serious and involved mild reactions that are already known from earlier clinical trials. 16 (38%) were classified as serious, including 5 associated with a fatal outcome. However, the 5 who died were all aged between 84 and 92 years old and died of illnesses that commonly occur at this age, said Swissmedic. Despite a chronological correlation with vaccination, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that vaccination was the cause of death.
On 22 January 2021, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) announced that close to 170,000 vaccine doses had been administered in Switzerland, mainly to people above the age of 75 or to people with chronic diseases. Given the vulnerability of most of those currently receiving the shots, a certain baseline level of death is to be expected.