MAKE SURE TO BRING THESE DOCUMENTS!
Thankfully I’d thought to bring these with me anyway but they weren’t mentioned anywhere – and several people in line near me didn’t have them!
To enter the vaccination centre, non-Swiss residents will need:
- Your passport
- Your residence permit for Switzerland (if you’re a Swiss citizen you won’t need this of course)
- Your Swiss health insurance card
- A mask, of course
- They didn’t seem to care too much but I showed the text message I received with my appointment time, too
For your second appointment, in addition to the above documents you’ll also need:
- Your certificate from your first vaccination (more on this later)
- Your carnet de vaccination – you can buy a vaccination booklet in a pharmacy so they can stamp it for you after your second vaccine.
When you enter, you’ll first see someone who will record your name and other details from your permit and Swiss health insurance card. They’ll give you a paper with these details and the vaccine you’ll get – I got Moderna. The only two vaccines listed on the document were Moderna or Pfizer.
PRIVATE VACCINATION BOOTH
Next you’ll be guided to your individual vaccination booth. There were rows and rows of private booths, and each one had a sign outside it saying whether it needed to be cleaned, was ready for the next patient, had someone waiting to be vaccinated, or if the person was waiting the required 15 minutes after getting the jab. Photos aren’t allowed inside the vaccination centre so you’ll just have to take our word for it…
They were quite busy when I went, so I had to wait 10 or 15 minutes to be seen. A doctor came in and introduced herself, and then asked me a few questions, such as if I’ve tested positive for COVID before. She also asked me if I’m right- or left-handed, so she could put the vaccine in my non-dominant arm.
Getting the vaccine itself hurt a little, but I’m quite sensitive! I then waited the required 15 minutes and they brought me my certificate (“attestation”) and informed me once it was okay for me to leave.
The whole process took about an hour, but I went at the end of the day – it takes less time if your appointment is earlier in the day. I felt a little light-headed afterwards, and my arm felt quite heavy and hurt where I’d had the jab. A day later, I’ve experienced some fatigue and my arm does hurt quite a bit if I move it.
A sign in the vaccination booth listed the most common side effects of the vaccine as:
- Reactions in the area of the injection (pain, redness or swelling)
- Headaches, fatigue
- Muscle and joint pain
- Mild general symptoms (shivering, feverish sensation or mild fever)
- Side effects can be treated with paracetamol and a cold pack
- Mild side effects usually disappear after a few days but if they last longer than 48 hours or they’re particularly acute or unusual, see your doctor
For your second vaccine, be sure to bring your vaccination certificate from your first vaccine, as well as your vaccination booklet. If you don’t have one (like me), you can buy one from a pharmacy. This is what they’ll stamp after your second vaccine, and you’ll be able to show it at airports and other places.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU DON’T HAVE SWISS HEALTH INSURANCE
If you don’t have Swiss health insurance but you have proof of residence of at least 3 months in Geneva, you can visit the Croix-Rouge Genevoise for a vaccine.
Address: 9 route des Acacias, 1227 Geneva
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-12pm and 2-5pm; Saturday 9am-12pm
You’ll need to show them your passport or ID and proof of residence in Geneva (at least 3 months)
For more information click here.
HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE VACCINE
FIND OUT HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE COVID VACCINE HERE.
Check out our article on the latest COVID rules in Geneva, too.