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Lonza to create 1,200 new jobs at vaccine-production site

Lonza said it was recruiting from the Swiss labour market as well as from countries such as Germany, France, northern Italy and the United Kingdom. Keystone / Alessandro Della Valle

The Swiss pharmaceutical company is recruiting workers to join its new plant in southern Switzerland, where three production lines have been set up to manufacture an active ingredient of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine.

So far the firm has hired 650 new staff to work at its Visp site in canton Valais, said site director Renzo Cicillini in a media interview published on Saturday.

Cicillini added that Lonza was recruiting from the Swiss labour market as well as from countries such as Germany, France, northern Italy and the United Kingdom.

The multinational signed a ten-year contract with American firm Moderna in 2020 to supply ingredients for up to one billion doses of its Covid vaccine a year for the global market, excluding the United States. Only in January, Lonza had projected the need for 200 workers in Visp to meet a yearly target of 300 million doses.

Asked whether the Swiss government would support a vaccine production line in Visp, Cicillini said the company’s CEO, Albert Baehny, was in contact with the health minister, Alain Berset, and that the media would be informed of any new development.

Recent media reports claimed that Berset turned down an opportunity last year to secure a vaccine production line exclusively for Switzerland by investing in Lonza, reports that Berset has rejected.

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