Coronavirus: Vaccinations in the Canton of Basel-Stadt are progressing well so far

11/06/2021 (11:00)
Press release
Department of Health

The Department of Health Basel-Stadt has reviewed the vaccination campaign against coronavirus that began at the end of December 2020 and found it to be developing positively: The vaccination campaign in the Canton of Basel-Stadt is on target. Around two thirds of people who are eligible for vaccination have been vaccinated or have registered for vaccination. Young people aged twelve and over will soon be able to be vaccinated. Furthermore, vaccinations will gradually also start being administered in some medical practices and pharmacies from autumn.

In Basel-Stadt, work began at the cantonal vaccination centre in Messe Basel at the end of December 2020. The vaccination centre is operated by Meconex AG. State Councillor Lukas Engelberger and the heads of the Department of Health Basel-Stadt and the firm Meconex AG gave an update on the vaccination campaign so far at a press conference in the vaccination centre on Friday, 11 June 2021.

The vaccination campaign in Basel-Stadt is currently in full swing – and, according to Head of the Department of Health, Lukas Engelberger, also on target: “I am delighted with the rapid progress of the vaccination campaign in Basel”, said Engelberger. In Basel-Stadt, people aged 16 and over have been able to get a vaccination appointment since the middle of May 2021 and all individuals who have registered so far will soon have received their vaccination.* Levels of vaccine acceptance in Basel-Stadt have so far been encouragingly high. 68 percent of people eligible for vaccination have already registered or have already been vaccinated. “This is an encouraging figure. As Head of the Department of Health, I am obviously very happy and grateful to the people of Basel”, said Engelberger. A good level of immunisation is very important in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, which is why additional registrations are still necessary. “We should still be aiming to increase vaccine acceptance so that we can return to normality again as soon as possible”, said Engelberger. “I am therefore calling upon all residents who are eligible for vaccination to register if they have not already done so.”

Up to 3,000 vaccinations per day

A total of 146,971 vaccination doses had been administered in the Canton of Basel-Stadt as of Wednesday, 9 June 2021. 55,113 people in the Canton of Basel-Stadt have been fully vaccinated with the first and second vaccination. 36,745 people have had their first vaccination. As of Wednesday evening, 9 June 2021, 26,088 people had pre-registered for vaccination. Up to 3,000 vaccinations are being administered every day in the cantonal vaccination centre in Messe Basel. A new record was broken in calendar week 22 (31 May to 6 June 2021) when almost 20,000 people were vaccinated. “Thanks to a practised team, we are also able to guarantee that things run smoothly even with a high number of daily vaccinations”, said Patrick Scotton, who succeeded Daniel Uebersax as Operations Director of the Vaccination Centre at the end of May 2021. Scotton gave an insight into everyday life in the vaccination centre and described the precautions that are necessary on days with lots of vaccinations. Scotton also said that regular audits by the canton would also guarantee and optimise the quality of the operation. It has so far only been necessary to dispose of 174 unused vaccination doses.

Vaccinations in medical practices and pharmacies

Cantonal Pharmacist Esther Ammann, who is responsible for vaccinations in the Department of Health, also reported that the vaccination campaign so far had been positive. Ammann said that, unfortunately, the vigour of the first weeks of vaccination died down temporarily due to delays in delivery of the vaccine. Now that more vaccines are available and deliveries have become more reliable, the vaccination campaign in the Canton of Basel-Stadt is back on track again. It is particularly encouraging that three quarters of over-74s have already been fully vaccinated. It was possible to supply all care and nursing homes with first and second vaccinations by 7 April 2021. Ammann said that “the Department of Health has always been greatly concerned with very quickly protecting older people and therefore the most vulnerable population group with a vaccine”.

Cantonal Pharmacist Ammann also explained that vaccinations in Basel-Stadt will gradually start being administered in some medical practices and pharmacies from autumn. The Department of Health is currently in talks with the Society of Medical Practitioners Basel (Medizinische Gesellschaft Basel) and the Basel-Stadt Association of Pharmacists (Baselstädtische Apotheken-Verband). Ammann said that, as a city canton, Basel-Stadt intentionally and successfully decided on a centrally located vaccination centre, at the start of the vaccination campaign. “This enabled us to administer vaccination doses quickly”. We plan to keep operating the vaccination centre for large amounts of vaccinations, but in future this will be augmented by vaccinations in medical practices and pharmacies.

Vaccinating children and young people

After the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products (Swissmedic) approved the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds on 4 June 2021, young people aged 12 and over in Basel-Stadt will soon be able to be vaccinated against infection with coronavirus. According to Cantonal Physician Thomas Steffen, this age group will be able to get their vaccine in the vaccination centre. “We are preparing to rapidly expand the vaccination offer”, said Steffen. Young people should receive their vaccination in the vaccination centre, accompanied by a parent.

Please note: 
*The vaccination centre’s website gives a forecast of when people who have registered (by the deadline of 7 June 2021) can expect a vaccination appointment. People who have registered have also been sent an email.

Slides press conference of 11 June 2021