May 20, 2020 / 12:38 PM / 9 days ago

Switzerland allocates $310 million to get access to coronavirus vaccine

ZURICH, May 20 (Reuters) - Switzerland's interior ministry and defence department will lead efforts to get COVID-19 vaccine, the government said on Wednesday, estimating costs of 300 million Swiss francs ($310.82 million) to secure enough doses for the nation's 8.6 million population.

"The cabinet expects the immunity of Swiss residents, like for residents of other countries, will be very low following the first wave of the pandemic," the government said in a statement. "Consequently, worldwide demand for vaccines will be correspondingly high."

Switzerland, which will pay for any vaccine supplies from money already allocated to help Swiss companies, said it wants to make sure its residents get enough vaccine, but also to ensure all countries have fair access amid concern some could try to hoard limited supplies. ($1 = 0.9652 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Miller, editing by John Revill)

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