The Swiss vaccination programme is progressing rapidly, and the epidemiological situation is developing positively. In order to adapt to the new situation and changing needs, the Task Force will be reorganised and downsized this summer. Prof. Martin Ackermann will hand over the Task Force leadership to Prof. Tanja Stadler. This transition will take place as soon as the Federal Council officially announces the “normalisation phase”. According to the Council’s three-phase-model, this phase begins when all adults willing to receive the vaccine have been fully vaccinated.
Tanja Stadler is a professor at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at ETH Zurich in Basel. As member of, and subsequently head of the Expert Group Data and Modelling, she has been with the Task Force since the beginning and has provided ground-breaking insights for handling the virus. Her strong relationships with research groups in Switzerland and abroad, with politics as well as the federal administration will be a valuable asset in the coming phase of the pandemic. She will take on the leadership role of the scientific Task Force until the end of the year.
Prof. Martin Ackermann, current chair of the Task Force, will continue to support the committee, but on a reduced scale in order to rededicate himself to his work at ETH Zurich, EAWAG and his research group after an intense year. ‘Switzerland is well on its way to overcoming the crisis. Still, we must remain vigilant. We don’t know, for instance, how new mutations will affect vaccine effectiveness. Tanja Stadler is a recognised expert on the evolution of viruses. As such, she’s the ideal person to lead the Task Force through the next phase.’
The number of members will be reduced at the beginning of the new phase. Discussions are currently underway on the composition of the scientific Task Force from summer 2021 onwards. The Task Force will maintain its interdisciplinary structure and will continue to provide scientific findings and advise the authorities.