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90-year-old woman first in Switzerland to get COVID-19 vaccine

90-year-old woman first in Switzerland to get COVID-19 vaccine

A general view shows the vaccination reference centre at the Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI), as the spread of COVID-19 continues, in Zurich on Dec 21, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann)

LUCERNE, Switzerland: A 90-year-old woman in the canton of Lucerne on Wednesday (Dec 23) became the first person in Switzerland to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as the Swiss military distributed just over 100,000 doses of the shots around the country.

Lucerne and the small rural canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden were the first of Switzerland's 26 cantons to begin inoculations after regulators approved the vaccine from American drugmaker Pfizer and German partner BioNTech over the weekend.

"Residents of nursing and care homes will be the first to get vaccines," Lucerne said on its website on Wednesday.

The woman who received the shot lives in a care home outside of the city of Lucerne. Her name was not released.

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Switzerland's decentralised system of government has left it up to its cantons to individually develop plans to vaccinate the nation of 8.6 million people.

Zurich, the largest by population, expects to start vaccinations on Jan 4.

Britain began vaccinating citizens weeks ago, and the United States has also given emergency approval to shots from Pfizer-BioNTech as well as from Moderna.

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Source: Reuters/kg

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