Department of Health canton Zurich

Flexible staff planning as key success factor of the cantonal Covid-19 vaccination campaign


How the Department of Health of the Canton Zurich was able to optimally adapt the Covid-19 vaccination campaign to vaccine availability and demand at all times thanks to flexible staffing.

As the central coordinator of pandemic response activities in the Canton Zurich, the Department of Health is responsible for ensuring that sufficient opportunities are created for the Zurich population to be vaccinated against Covid-19. For this purpose, a total of 11 vaccination centres were made available in the canton of Zurich – in addition to other vaccination options – as the main channel. Depending on the availability of the vaccine and the demand for vaccination, these centre first opened in January 2021 and then successively from Easter 2021. For this one-time and time-limited project, which was characterised by high staff intensity, fluctuating staffing needs and short planning horizons, the Department of Health was looking for a staffing partner. They found an ideal partner to implement a flexible staffing strategy in Coople.



Shortly before Christmas 2020, the first vaccines against Covid-19 were licensed. The cantons were thus faced with the challenge of planning the cantonal vaccination campaigns and – depending on the availability of the vaccine – vaccinating the various population groups as quickly as possible and in a manner appropriate to the target group. The aim was to plan this one-off vaccination campaign in such a way that it was possible to react quickly in the event of changes. In the canton of Zurich, the vaccination of the at-risk groups started with mobile vaccination teams and general practitioners. From April 2021, vaccination deliveries were planned with the majority of dosages arriving from June 2021 onwards to allow for vaccination of the general population. In order to vaccinate all those waiting as quickly as possible, a lot of specialised staff was needed. Their main challenges were:

Fluctuating staff requirements and short-term planning horizons depending on the availability of the vaccine and the willingness of the population to be vaccinated.

Time consuming recruitment and administration of staff.

Seeking medical staff, who were already in high demand.

Involvement of job seekers in the cantonal vaccination campaign.

Channelling of various spontaneous applications to the Department of Health via a central channel.

Ensuring qualified staff in line with demand despite tight timelines and fluctuating staffing requirements.

Substantial relief for the vaccination centres in recruitment and HR administration.

Coordinated consideration of candidate proposals from the cantonal job registration centre as part of the "Esperanza" project of the Zurich Department of Economic Affairs.

How did Coople help?

Thanks to years of experience in workforce management in complex projects that require the highest degree of flexibility, Coople was the ideal partner for the vaccination campaign as a large-scale project. As the official staffing partner, Coople was able to support the vaccination centres Affoltern, Bülach, Dietikon, Horgen, Triemli and Kispi as well as the reference vaccination centre at the EBPI and the Zurich Vaccination Tram from A-Z in workforce planning and staff administration as part of the vaccination campaign.


Since the opening of the vaccination centres, around 1’100 Cooplers have been on duty.

Pool building

Since March 2021, over 4’100 people with a medical profile and over 10’000 people with an administrative profile have indicated their interest in supporting the vaccination campaign. Of these, over 650 people have now been deployed in the medical field, with 420 in the administrative field.

Cooperation with the cantonal job registration centre

Over 40 people who previously registered as unemployed started working for the vaccination campaign.

Willingness to work flexibly

73% of people with a medical profile stated they were interested in flexible, temporary assignments outside of the vaccination campaign.

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