This week, 1,609 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in Switzerland, nearly double (+95%) the number the week before (827). The daily number of cases on a 7-day rolling average was 230 and the fast spreading Delta variant made up 83% of all samples sequenced on 28 June 2021.
This week, the number of Covid-19 deaths in Switzerland remained low and stable. Only 9 people were reported being admitted to hospital in Switzerland with Covid-19 this week, down from 11 the week before. Across the week there were 4 deaths, 8 fewer than the week before. By the end of the week, Switzerland’s total Covid-19 death toll had reached 10,898.
The main concern of some experts now is the exposure of Switzerland’s unvaccinated population to the Delta variant as cases rise. In the UK, where the Delta variant now makes up nearly all new cases, there has been a steep rise in case numbers.
Encouragingly, vaccination appears to have significantly weakened the link between infection and hospitalisation and death in the UK. Far fewer are ending up in hospital and dying than during earlier waves.
Only time will tell whether Switzerland follows a similar path to the UK. One difference between the UK and Switzerland is rates of vaccination. Overall, 40% of Switzerland’s population is fully vaccinated and 52% have had at least one shot. In the UK, the same rates are 52% and 69%.
According to the data, the number of people getting vaccinated in Switzerland is in free fall. After peaking at a daily 1.2 doses per 100 people on 8 June 2021, the pace of first-dose vaccination had fallen to 0.3 per 100 by 4 July 2021. Based on the current trend it is unlikely Switzerland will reach the health minister’s herd immunity target of 80% of the population.
Recently, Alain Berset, Switzerland’s health minister, voiced concerns about vaccination reluctance among carers in Switzerland’s rest homes.
There are wide regional differences in the level of vaccination in Switzerland, ranging from 56% in Geneva to 44% in the cantons of Fribourg and Jura.
Across Switzerland, 17% of those over 80 and 15% of those 70-79 have not been vaccinated. In age groups with lower mortality but high rates of long Covid, the unvaccinated percentages are even higher. 24% of those aged 60-69, 34% of those aged 50-59, 42% of those aged 40-49 and 51% of those aged 30-39 have not been vaccinated, according to data published by RTS. A UK study found that Long Covid was most prevalent among those aged 35-69. Below the age of 30 rates of vaccination decline steeply.