Swiss vaccination rate sees sharp drop in recent weeks

Switzerland now has a surplus of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine doses. Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

The pace of vaccination in Switzerland has dropped sharply since mid-June, and the pool of people willing to be vaccinated may soon be exhausted, according to Swiss public broadcaster RTS.

This content was published on July 9, 2021 minutes

Unless the trend is reversed, this means the percentage of the population vaccinated is more likely to end up at 60% than Health Minister Alain Berset’s stated target of 80%, RTS reports in an analysis of recent statistics from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

The number of vaccine doses administered has dropped from a record high of nearly 650,000 in the second week of June to below 450,000 three weeks later – a fall of 30%. It has fallen from a peak of around 90,000 jabs a day to 63,000 (week ending July 4). Almost all those ready to be vaccinated immediately will have been vaccinated very soon, writes RTS.

This comes as only 52% of people living in Switzerland have received at least one dose. The best protected are now 70- to 79-year-olds, who have overtaken people over 80. For the under 70s, the vaccination rate falls with age group.

RTS writes that some people may be waiting until they return from summer holidays to sign up for the jab, so a rise in the vaccination rate is possible in the autumn. Nevertheless, Switzerland now has a surplus of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine doses, and management of these perishable stocks could become a burning issue at a time when developing countries are short of vaccines.

Although the number of coronavirus cases remains relatively low in Switzerland, it has started to creep up again. The Delta variant is making inroads, accounting for roughly 30% of new cases by early July. In total, 7.9 million vaccine doses were administered between late December and July 7. Around 38% of the population are fully vaccinated.

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