Switzerland’s robust healthcare system recommends a variety of vaccines for young children, and we explain them all in this guide.
If you are moving to Switzerland and have young children, you’ll probably want to know more about vaccinations in Switzerland. Understanding how vaccinations work in the country when you don’t speak one a Swiss language might be nerve-wracking, but this guide will help you to make the transition smoothly.
Vaccinations are essential to protect children, the elderly, and vulnerable people from infectious diseases. This guide explains how vaccinations work in Switzerland, a country with four official languages.
The Swiss vaccination system
The Federal Vaccination Commission (VTC) oversees the Swiss Immunization Plan. It involves specialists in pediatrics, general medicine, internal medicine, infectious diseases, epidemiology, and public health. In addition, the VTC organizes this in collaboration with the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and Swissmedic.
Swiss health authorities divide vaccinations in Switzerland into three parts:
- Basic vaccines
- Complementary vaccines
- Vaccines for vulnerable groups
The Swiss vaccination plan is updated regularly and adjusted to accommodate the development of new vaccines. In addition, the plan also takes into account the evolution of knowledge about their efficacy and safety as well as changes to the epidemiological situation in Switzerland.
Insurance for vaccinations in Switzerland
In general, compulsory health insurance reimburses patients for the recommended and complementary vaccines. This also applies for groups with increased risk of complications or exposure to certain diseases.
There are around 60 health insurance companies in Switzerland. Each offers the same benefits in their basic health insurance policies and they are obliged to accept anyone who applies, regardless of pre-existing health conditions. Residents are free to choose your own insurer. Many private health insurance companies offer coverage in Switzerland, such as:
If you want to know further details about the Swiss healthcare system, learn more about healthcare in Switzerland, including an overview of the Swiss healthcare system, insights about visiting a doctor, or how emergency services in the country work.
Vaccinations for children in Switzerland
In fact, there are no compulsory child vaccinations in Switzerland. However, the following are recommended because they play a vital role in individual and public health. These vaccinations also provide an important level of protection for the well-being of Switzerland’s population. Swiss health authorities administer inoculations at the following points in a child’s life:
- Two months: whooping cough, Diphtheria, Hemophilus influenza b, Hepatitis B, pneumococcal, Poliomyelitis, Tetanus
- Four months: whooping cough, Diphtheria, Hemophilus influenza b, Hepatitis B, pneumococcal, Poliomyelitis, Tetanus
- Six months: whooping cough, Diphtheria, Hemophilus influenza b, Hepatitis B, Mumps, Poliomyelitis, Measles, Rubella, Tetanus
- 12 months: whooping cough, Diphtheria, Hemophilus influenza b, Hepatitis B, Mumps, Poliomyelitis, Measles, Rubella, Tetanus, pneumococcal
- 15–24 months: meningococcus
- 4–7 years: whooping cough Diphtheria Poliomyelitis Tetanus
- 11–15 years: whooping cough, Diphtheria, Hepatitis B, HPV – human papillomavirus, meningococcus, Tetanus, Varicella
Vaccinations for special groups in Switzerland
For elderly people over the age of 65, Swiss health authorities recommend a few vaccinations. Accordingly, Swiss authorities recommend vaccines that protect against influenza, diphtheria, tetanus, and zona.
Not being immunized before a pregnancy against rubella, measles, and chickenpox is particularly dangerous. Being vaccinated against influenza during pregnancy protects the mother and also the child from serious complications. Vaccinations against whooping cough can be done before, during, or immediately after pregnancy.
If you’re planning to become pregnant, are pregnant, or have just given birth, seek immediate medical advice in order to plan your child’s vaccinations.
COVID-19 vaccinations in Switzerland
You can receive a COVID-19 vaccination throughout Switzerland in locations such as vaccination centers, hospitals, GPs’ offices, and pharmacies. They are free of charge if you have compulsory basic health insurance or if your permanent or habitual residence is in Switzerland.
Vaccines against COVID-19 in Switzerland are organized per canton, so check your canton’s website for detailed information. For more information on coronavirus vaccines in Switzerland, visit the Federal Office of Public Health’s Vaccination Planning page. You can also find general information about COVID-19, including details of the latest restrictions, on this website.
Travel vaccinations in Switzerland
In general, vaccinations are not necessary for entry into Switzerland. However, vaccination requirements for entering Switzerland may exist depending on your nationality; check with a Swiss embassy or consulate in your area before you travel to Switzerland to make sure.
Clinics in Switzerland provide vaccinations for infectious diseases for those planning travel to high-risk areas, such as:
- Japanese encephalitis
- Tick encephalitis
- Yellow fever
Safe Travel also offers accurate information about where and when to get a vaccination if you want to travel to areas where special vaccinations are required. In addition, check with your local healthcare facility for more tailored advice.
Need even more information about vaccinations in Switzerland? Refer to the following resources for in-depth details about vaccinations, the schedules, and how to organize appointments:
- Infovac is available in French, German, as well as Italian
- The Federal Office for Public Health