On Monday, November 15th, Switzerland approved booster shots for people in risk groups, i.e. those over the age of 65 and people with pre-existing conditions.
However, booster jabs for the general public have not yet been rolled out, with the government indicating on Monday that they will be approved at the end of November at the earliest.
Neighbouring Germany and Austria are already administering booster shots to people aged 12 and over and 18 and over respectively.
For Swiss who might not want to wait, is it possible for them to cross the border and get the jab?
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Can Swiss residents get a booster jab in Germany?
Generally speaking, people living in Switzerland will not be able to get a vaccination in Germany unless they are a German citizen or work in Germany.
Cross-border workers – i.e. people who work in Switzerland but live in Germany – may be able to get vaccinated in Germany in some situations, however this may be difficult if their healthcare is connected to their Swiss employer.
A mobile vaccination team told Switzerland’s Watson news outlet that it has knocked back enquiries from Swiss residents about getting booster jabs, saying they are reserved for Germans or people with German health insurance.
Florian Mader, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in the south-western German state of Baden-Württemberg, said that people from Switzerland would not necessarily be prevented from getting a vaccine as it was in everyone’s interest for more people to get the jab, but it would be a decision for the vaccine centre to make.
“In view of the need to avert danger, we nevertheless appeal to those responsible on site to carry out a vaccination on a case-by-case basis in order to protect as many people as possible.”
Germany has also been struggling with a surge in demand at vaccination centres in recent days.
Over the weekend, vaccination centres in several states had queues of longer than three hours, while people were sent away without a jab in several states including Bavaria, Berlin and Brandenburg.
Both southern states have recently made visiting bars and restaurants 2G – i.e. only for fully vaccinated people and those recovered from the virus – which has also contributed to the surge in demand.
For Swiss who really want to get the jab in Germany however, it is not impossible.
One journalist from Switzerland’s Tamedia group got vaccinated in Konstanz after registering by email despite not having a German health insurance card.