Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.
Three hundred vaccinated people infected with Covid in Switzerland
Since the start of the vaccination campaign in Switzerland in January and until July 22nd, 300 fully vaccinated people contracted the coronavirus, according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).
The majority of contaminations are due to the fast-spreading and highly contagious Delta strain, which currently accounts for 96.7 percent of Swiss cases.
However, FOPH spokesperson Daniel Dauwalder said that the number of fully vaccinated people who have contracted the virus remains proportionally very low, given that 3,985,251 of Switzerland’s residents are fully immunised to date.
Duration of post-vaccine immunity: vaccines versus infection
Coronavirus immunity lasts longer after vaccination than after recovery from the disease, according to a document published by the Covid-19 Task Force.
Inoculation with two doses of mRNA vaccines (such as Pfizer / Biontech or Moderna, both is which are used in Switzerland) induces antibody responses that are two to four times stronger than after the effect of infection.
The protection lasts longer as well: 50 percent more against moderate illness for 16 months after the second shot, versus eight months after recovery, and 80 percent higher against severe illness for three years after inoculation; post-recovery, that duration is 16 months.
This data relates to people under 75 years. For older age groups, the Task Force estimates that the protection is lower: seven to10 months for moderate illness, and 15-24 months for severe cases.
The US will not lift travel ban on Swiss and other foreign travellers in the near future.
Although earlier in July US president Joe Biden hinted at possible easing of entry requirements for foreigners “in the coming days”, this has not happened.
In fact, residents of Switzerland who are waiting for a chance to travel to America will have to be patient a bit (or much) longer.
The White House announced on Monday that it would not lift its travel ban at this point, due to the concerns over the Delta variant, so holidays in the United States seem highly unlikely this summer.
However, fully vaccinated Americans can travel to Switzerland.
The positive (yes, positive) side of Covid-19
Since March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic began, Swiss health authorities have recorded 20 percent less infectious diseases than in the same period in 2019.
They include illnesses that cause an average of more than 100 cases in ordinary years, including mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dingue fever, bacterial diarrhea, respiratory diseases, as well as sexually-transmitted infections such as HIV.
The closure of many public facilities during the shutdown, as well as widespread preventive measures such as compulsory masks and physical distance, have reduced people’s exposure to these viruses and bacteria, according to FOPH.
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