Zurich, Switzerland’s most populous canton, has been lagging behind the other cantons and the Swiss average when it comes to vaccinations.
However it appears that part of the reason for the slow rollout is reluctance on the part of Zurich residents to get the jab.
As at Thursday, April 8th however, 18,000 of the 90,000 appointments available for the month remain open.
Even the opening of cantonal vaccination centres on the 6th has not sped up the process.
As yet, only people in risk groups, health workers and those aged over 65 are eligible to get the jab.
On Wednesday, Federal councillor and Zurich Health Director Natalie Rickli called upon the public to fill the slots – just days after complaining to federal Health Minister Alain Berset that the canton had not received enough vaccine doses.
Rickli said went on Twitter to tell the canton’s seniors to take one of the free appointments.
“Dear over-65s, there are still 18,000 free vaccination appointments in April,” Rickli wrote.
Liebe Ü65, es hat noch 18‘000 freie Impftermine im April! Liebe Kinder und Enkel sagt es den Eltern bzw. Grosseltern weiter 😉
— Natalie Rickli (@NatalieRickli) April 7, 2021
The appeal was partially effective, with around a third of the vacant slots being filled after she went public.
However, as at noon on Thursday, around 12,000 appointments still remain for April.
Registration has been opened to the general public since March 29th.
Cantonal authorities told Swiss news outlet 20 Minutes that they were not concerned, saying the projection was broadly in line with their estimates.