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Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Monday

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Views from the cable car are beautiful, but is it safe? Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Vaccines are effective for up to three years in some cases

Moderna and Pfizer / Biontech  vaccines were initially believed to protect against Covid for six months. However, Swiss health experts  have recently revised this timeline to up to one year.

Now a new government report says the two vaccines protect adults against a severe form of Covid “for three years”, and against a moderate form of the disease “for 16 months”.

The report also notes that the duration of protection of the two vaccines is shorter in the elderly: 10-14 months against a moderate form of the disease, and 15-24 months against a severe form. In all cases, the duration of protection is two to four times longer after vaccination than after contracting coronavirus, according to the Task Force.

The experts specified , however, that this duration is likely to be shortened if certain variants become dominant.

READ MORE: Covid-19 health pass: Switzerland extends vaccination protection to 12 months

And speaking of variants…

It is currently impossible to say whether the Delta (Indian) variant is fundamentally more dangerous than the older known mutations, according to  Swiss epidemiologist Volker Thiel.

However, this variant is more contagious and for optimum protection is it necessary to have two doses of the vaccine.

“With a single dose, the vaccine protection against Delta is about 30 percent, which is lower than for previous variants ” Thiel said.

Around 10 percent of Covid cases in Switzerland can already be attributed to the Delta variant and it is only a matter of weeks before it will become dominant “in late summer at the latest,” he said.

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: Is Switzerland lifting its Covid-19 restrictions too quickly?

Dozens of Swiss cable cars may not be safe

After the tragic cable car accident in Stresa, Italy, that killed 14 people on May 23rd,  the issue of security of mountain transport is being examined in Switzerland as well.

It turns out that about 52 Swiss cable cars may have safety issues as well, according to Christoph Kupper, head of investigation of the Swiss Security Investigation Service (SESE

The cause would be defective clamps, which are parts often used in mountain transportation, especially in in Davos (GR), Flims (GR) and Grindelwald (BE).

While SESE  considers these clamps to be potentially unsafe, the Federal Office of Transport said there is no safety issue.

Swiss watchmaker manufactures “ecological” face mask

Michel Jordi, known for the folkloric watches featuring “Swiss” motifs like cows and edelweiss flowers, is now launching its new product line that has nothing to do with time keeping.

The company has manufactured  Maskit, “the first Swiss-made, ecological protective mask”. It features transparent plexiglass and replaceable filter, “ensuring safety, visibility, good breathability and acoustics”.

The mask retails for 49.90 francs a piece, plus 29.90 francs for a washable filter which has antiviral coating.

The new product has a lifespan of three months, the company said.

Meanwhile, the cost of disposable masks is dropping…

If you prefer to stick to the conventional disposable masks, you can bow buy them very cheaply at some retailers.

As the obligation to wear masks in outdoor places is no longer in place since June 26th, the demand for this product is declining, according to Blick newspaper.

As a result of this new trend, Aldi has reduced the price of a package of 50 masks to 4.99 francs.

READ MORE: UPDATE: What are the rules for wearing masks in Switzerland?

If you have any questions about life in Switzerland, ideas for articles or news tips for The Local please get in touch with us at [email protected]


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