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Swiss consider donating 3 mln doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to COVAX

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ZURICH, May 12 (Reuters) - Switzerland is considering donating 3 million of the 5.4 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses it has reserved to the COVAX vaccine sharing programme, Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset said on Wednesday.

"The (AstraZeneca) vaccine is not yet approved in Switzerland so far. If it is approved, then only a limited number would be deployed in Switzerland," Berset told a news conference. "We looked at it today, and the Interior Ministry has been tasked with making necessary inquiries about how we would donate 3 million doses available to COVAX."

Switzerland is in a position to shift the doses to the World Health Organization-backed programme aimed at helping developing countries because the nation is already well-positioned with vaccines from producers including Pfizer and Moderna for the remainder of 2021 and 2022, should refresher shots be needed to fight mutations, Berset said. (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields)