“To protect the population adequately against vaccine-preventable diseases”. In pursuit of this goal, the Confederation, the Cantons and other stakeholders have drawn up the National Vaccination Strategy (NVS) and the associated action plan. They are now working together to implement them.
Why does Switzerland need an NVS?
Vaccination is one of the most effective and least expensive health measures. However, the vaccination system in Switzerland still has some weak points. Access to vaccinations is sometimes difficult, and some groups within the population are not convinced that certain vaccinations are necessary or effective. Furthermore, the roles and responsibilities of the parties involved are unclear.
The NVS creates a framework within which vaccines can be administered in a coordinated, effective and efficient manner to protect the population. It has three main goals:
- to encourage stakeholders to take the issue of vaccination seriously.
- to ensure that the public is given a good enough understanding of the issue tomake an informed decision.
- to simplify access to vaccinations.
Development of the strategy
Work on the development of the NVS began at the end of 2012. The Confederation, the Cantons and the main stakeholders worked together to define the need for action, goals and priority measures. In spring 2016, all involved parties were invited to share their opinions on the strategy project in a public hearing. The Federal Council adopted the NVS on 11 January 2017. It tasked the FOPH with its implementation in collaboration with the cantons and other stakeholders.
As the first step in its implementation, the strategy stipulates that the individual measures needed to achieve its goals be fleshed out. The partners tasked with implementation have chosen an action plan as the format for this detailed planning.
Action plan for implementation
On 2 July 2018, the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Health Ministers (GDK) and FOPH approved the action plan for the NSI. It fleshes out the elements described in the strategy, namely:
- the measures, roles and responsibilities that will be used to implement the strategy;
- the timelines for implementation, and how implementation will be organised and evaluated.
The action plan defines 28 measures that are needed to fulfil the goals of the NVS. These can be grouped into various thematic areas, such as provision, training and communication.
The action plan provides all parties involved in vaccination with a strategy implementation “logbook”. Like the strategy itself, the action plan is the result of a participative process. All the organisations and institutions involved in the NVS contributed. The aim of the action plan is to optimise cooperation between the different stakeholders. This is essential if the NVS is to be a success.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, various implementation activities of the NVS had to be postponed. However, the experience with the pandemic was taken as an opportunity to revise the action plan in the light of the new findings. The updated action plan is expected to be adopted at the beginning of 2024.
Last modification 18.10.2023