Of the 1,100 people killed by the coronavirus in Switzerland since the end of January, 18 had received both doses of the vaccine.
The numbers, that were first published in 20 Minuten, were confirmed by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) on Monday. In total, 362 fully vaccinated people were infected and 86 of them had to be hospitalised.
The FOPH believes that these numbers are probably an underestimate because many people who were infected despite being vaccinated have not been registered. Even if the real figure is probably higher, it is within the expected range, according to the FOPH.
It is not possible to determine how many of these 18 deaths in Switzerland are due to the Delta variant. The estimated proportion of new infections with the delta mutation is currently 96.7% in the seven-day average.
Still at risk
The vaccines administered in Switzerland - Moderna and Pfizer/Biontech - do not offer 100% protection. According to the manufacturer, the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine offers 88% protection against the Delta variant. A U.S. study suggests similar figures for Moderna's vaccine. However, these figures are disputed: an Israeli study estimates that the protection offered by both vaccines is only around 65%.
Currently, a little over 4.8 million of 8.6 million Swiss residents have been fully vaccinated. If the 88% protection against the coronavirus claimed by the manufacturers is correct, more than 570,000 can potentially be reinfected despite receiving two doses of vaccine. The figure is triple if the Israeli study, citing an efficacy of 65%, is used as a reference.
The FOPH considers that two doses of messenger RNA vaccine offer good protection against the current variants of the virus. The health authorities are not currently planning a booster vaccination campaign but are monitoring the situation closely.
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