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

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
TEE trains will be back in service again. Photo by Swiss Federal Railways, SBB
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Adolescents get the Covid vaccine

Since the Swiss government has approved vaccination for 12 to 15-years-olds on June 23rd, thousands of youngsters in this age group have already taken appointments for the shot.

Demand is high throughout Switzerland. In Bern, for instance, 1,400 appointments are already scheduled. “New bookings are made every hour,” says Gundekar Giebel, communications manager at the Canton of Bern Health Directorate.

Health officials are urging this age group to get their shots, as it is deemed essential to achieving herd immunity. This can only happen when at least 60 percent of the entire population is immunised, though authorities are hoping to exceed this number.

READ MORE: Switzerland to start Covid vaccinations for 12 to 15-year-olds

 As the item below explains, Switzerland is only half way there.

 Over one-third of the population is fully vaccinated

From June 21st to June 27th, 536,087 doses of Covid vaccine were administered in Switzerland, according to data from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

This means that 34.1 percent of the population has already obtained two doses of the vaccine.

So far, 2,943,263 people have been fully vaccinated.

However, health officials warn that at least 2 million more people should be vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent further outbreaks, especially as the Delta various is spreading through the country.

READ MORE: How Switzerland plans to contain the Delta variant

Pay gaps found in Switzerland’s largest companies

In 2020, the pay gap in large Swiss companies represented a ratio of 1 to 137 between the lowest and the highest wages, according to a new study by the Unia trade union, which reviewed 37 companies.

The biggest wage disparities were found at Roche, followed by UBS, Nestlé, and Novartis.

The union also criticizes the fact that some companies have increased the salaries of their CEOs while suffering financial losses due to the Covid pandemic. In the pharma firm Alcon, for example, the highest salary went up by 11 percent in one year (7.6 million francs) despite losses of 498 million francs.

TEE 2.0: The revival of the TransEuropExpress

Switzerland has used TEE trains for cross-border long-distance traffic from 1961 onwards. But with the increasingly cheaper flight options, the demand for the TEE fell and these trains were decommissioned in the1980s.

But now the idea is being revived, with a declaration of intent signed in this regard between Switzerland  Germany, Austria and France, though no date to begin operations has been set yet.

Initially, four lines are planned, but after infrastructure expansions, another four will be added.

One line, the TEE 3, will run from Amsterdam to Rome and cross Switzerland from Basel, via Aarau, Arth-Goldau, Bellinzona and Lugano.

Figures on post-apprenticeship wages released

Five years after finishing their apprenticeship, certificate holders have a median gross monthly income of 5,270 for a full-time job, according to a new study by the Federal Statistical Office.

However, large differences exist between different fields of education and training. Income is highest in information and communication technologies (6,370 francs a month), but less than 5,000 in sectors like retail.

Read our story today with more details.

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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