9 November 2022: Vaccination appointments are now available for booking at https://mpx.cpzh.ch/en
7 November 2022: The first shipment of monkeypox vaccine arrived in Switzerland on 1 November. The army pharmacy will deliver the 4000 doses to the most affected cantons of Zurich, Vaud, Geneva and Basel-City from the end of the week. We will update you here soon.
1 November 2022: Unfortunately, we have no new information. The canton of Zurich is in close contact with the Federal Office of Public Health. We hope to be able to communicate the vaccination start date to you by the end of this week.
14 October 2022: The FOPH today concluded the contract with the company Bavarian Nordic for the delivery of vaccine doses against monkeypox. According to the FOPH, the first doses will be delivered by the beginning of November. The canton of Zurich and we are ready to start vaccinations against the monkeypox virus as soon as the vaccine arrives in the canton. Vaccination will mainly take place at the Institute for Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention (EBPI) and the Checkpoint Zurich. After the Confederation informs us how much vaccine will be delivered to the canton, further information on implementation and booking options will be announced promptly.
29 September 2022: As soon as the vaccinations are available, we will inform you: We will notify our PrEP and HIV clients directly via text message. All other people will find out on social media, our website or our newsletter as soon as vaccination dates are available.
24 August 2022: The Federal Office of Public Health announced today that, in cooperation with the army pharmacy, it will purchase Bavarian Nordic’s monkeypox vaccine and the antiviral drug Tecovirimat from the manufacturer SIGA. In order to contain the spread of monkeypox, the Confederation intends to procure 40,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine. The exact date of the vaccination launch is not yet known. Our internal preparations are underway.
The Swiss Federal Commission for Immunisation EKIF and the FOPH will recommend vaccination to the following risk groups:
- As a preventive vaccination for MSM (men who have sex with men) and trans people with frequently changing sexual partners.
- As preventive vaccination for persons who are exposed to monkeypox viruses for occupational reasons (medical personnel/personnel of special laboratories).
- For contact persons of persons with the disease. This is intended to break the chains of infection and also protect children, pregnant women and any other persons at risk.
Cases in Switzerland
The WHO has declared an international emergency due to the outbreak of monkeypox. In Switzerland, too, new cases have been reported daily since May. Men who have sex with men are among the groups of people at increased risk.
Usually the first signs are high fever, muscle and joint pain, enlarged lymph glands and severe headache. A skin rash appears 1 to 5 days later. In the current outbreak of the disease, however, atypical courses were often observed. For example, not all affected persons had fever, some persons had only a few pustules or none at all. Some people complain of pain or itching at the skin lesions. The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab that later falls off, leaving healthy skin underneath.
The exact modes of transmission are not yet fully understood. Today, known transmission routes are direct contact with the skin lesions (rash, picking, pustule) or the scab. During sex, the virus seems to be transmitted particularly well, but not exclusively. For example, transmission has been known to occur during kissing, or contact with clothing or towels (e.g. bedding or towels) used by an infected person, or inhalation of droplets when a person with monkeypox infection coughs or sneezes.
Some of the cases are mild, but a significant proportion of people have severe pain and require several days to weeks of not only over-the-counter painkillers, but sometimes also morphine derivatives. Some people have pronounced skin findings and may be disfigured for a long time due to scarring on the face and genitals. In rare cases, complications such as bacterial infections of the skin lesions or inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) may occur.
Suspicion of monkeypox?
Call us if you feel unwell with a fever and get a rash a few days later. Please do not just drop in. Disinfect or wash your hands regularly and wear a face mask if you have to be around other people. Avoid skin contact with other people. Do not share plates, cutlery, bedding, towels or other linen. Avoid sex until the results of the smear test are in.
Basically, pay attention to your surroundings and recognise possible risk factors for transmission. Places with a lot of contact and little or no clothing increase the risk of transmission. Talk openly with your sex partners about the current situation. Reduce your sex partners or arrange exclusive sex dating circles. Use condoms more often (they are less protective as with HIV, but still better than direct skin-to-skin contact), try new types of play with little or no physical contact, and get vaccinated immediately – as soon as available. If you or your sex partner have rashes, refrain from any kind of sex – including kissing or touching – while you or your sex partner are sick.