The Institute of Pharmacological Sciences of Southern Switzerland (ISFSI), located in Bellinzona in the canton of Ticino, has been designated as a reference center for the analysis of side effects related to COVID-19 vaccinations by Swissmedic, the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products. This role follows the appointment of the institute’s medical and scientific director, Prof. Dr. med. Alessandro Ceschi, to the Swissmedic taskforce. According to information from ticinonews, Ceschi is the sole external appointee to this committee.
According to a press release issued by the association of hospitals in the canton of Ticino (Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, EOC), to which ISFSI belongs, the institute will be focusing on safety aspects related to the vaccine. Accordingly, from now on any reports from across the country will be investigated “rigorously and in detail” at the institute.
Clinical trials in several thousand volunteers did not reveal any serious safety problems. However, rare occurrences of severe allergic reactions during the vaccination campaigns indicated that it would be important to remain vigilant. This applies in particular at this stage when the focus is on vaccinating the older generations, who often suffer from other disorders for which they take medication. A careful and diligent assessment of individual cases is “particularly important before any potential causal relationship between the observed problem and the vaccine can be confirmed or ruled out”.
The success of the national vaccination drive is also dependent on specialists and patients paying close attention to any side effects and reporting these directly to Swissmedic or via the Swiss network for monitoring drug safety, the press release explains further.
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