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CHARTS: Which Swiss cantons have the highest vaccination rates?

Switzerland’s national vaccination rate lags that of its European neighbours, although the situation differs from canton to canton.

A sign says 'to vaccinations' in German. Photo: THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP
A sign says 'to vaccinations' in German. Photo: THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP

Switzerland kicked off its vaccination campaign in late December 2020, becoming among the first countries to start administering jabs. 

Ten months later, Switzerland trails most other European countries – and the EU average – when it comes to vaccination rates. 

Covid-19 vaccines: Why is Switzerland lagging behind other EU countries?

In mid-October, Switzerland announced a nationwide vaccination ‘offensive’, which includes a vaccination week in the middle of November. 

What is the Covid vaccine situation in Switzerland – and how does it compare? 

As at October 22nd, 61 percent of people have been vaccinated in Switzerland fully against Covid. 

This compares to 64 percent in the EU, 70 percent in Italy, 67 percent in France and 65 percent in Germany. 

In Switzerland, 65 percent have been vaccinated with one shot, compared to 68 percent in both Germany and the EU, 75 percent in France and 77 percent in Italy. 

Which cantons have vaccinated the most people? 

Basel City leads the way in Switzerland when it comes to how many people have been fully vaccinated. 

In Basel City, 66 percent of people are fully vaccinated, followed by Ticino (65.9 percent). 

Zurich, Switzerland’s most populous canton, has vaccinated 65 percent of the population, while Zug, Vaud and Basel Country have all vaccinated more than 64 percent. 

In contrast to the above cantons which are largely urban, rural cantons have the lowest vaccination rates. 

Appenzell Innerrhoden (51.9 percent) and Obwalden (52.5 percent) are ten percentage points behind the national average. 

A table of cantonal vaccination rates in Switzerland as at October 22nd, 2021. Photo: FOPH

A table of cantonal vaccination rates in Switzerland as at October 22nd, 2021. Photo: FOPH

The map of where at least one dose has been administered shows the largely regional and rural northeast of the country lags the rest. 

A map of doses administered across the country

An updated list of first vaccination doses, as at October 22nd, in Switzerland: Image: FOPH

How does Switzerland collate vaccine data? 

In Switzerland, the exact data varies due to lags in reporting in different areas and the way in which the Swiss government historically collated confirmed vaccinations. 

Unlike most countries, Switzerland previously did not provide detailed data on the percentage of the population which has received a vaccination – other than on a nationwide basis. 

While a nationwide figure of how many people have received one dose – and how many are fully vaccinated – is released, in the cantons the government releases data on how many shots have been administered per 100,000 people. 

Although this still provided some indication as to how many vaccines have been given in a particular canton, it did not provide an accurate figure as to the percentage of partially and fully vaccinated people. 

Now however, Switzerland issues up to date vaccination information here which shows the percentage of partially and fully vaccinated people – along with the total number of administered doses – in each and every canton. 

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Switzerland authorises Moderna vaccine for children over six

Children between the ages of six and 11 will now be able to get a Moderna shot, Swiss health authority said.

Switzerland authorises Moderna vaccine for children over six

Until now only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved in Switzerland for this group, starting at age five.

However, on Friday the country’s drug regulatory body, Swissmedic, gave the green light to start administering Moderna’s vaccine to children over six, who will receive two half doses of 50 micrograms at an interval of four weeks.

Those over 12 and adults are injected the full dose.

The agency said that based on clinical studies, young kids react to the Moderna vaccine much like older children and adults do.

“The most commonly reported side effects such as pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, shivering or nausea, were similar to those in adolescents and young adults”. Swissmedic said.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Covid vaccines for children in Switzerland

Also, “fever occurred more frequently in children, whereas muscle and joint pains were seen less often than in adolescents or adults. The undesirable effects were generally mild to moderate and lasted for a few days”.

While some parents may be reluctant to vaccinate their children against the coronavirus, health officials say the vaccines are safe. They also argue that in order to achieve herd immunity, all age groups should have their shots.

While the number of Covid infections has dropped significantly in Switzerland in the past two months, epidemiologists are predicting a new outbreak in the fall and winter, when cooler weather drives more people indoors, where the yet-unknown variants will be more transmissible.

READ MORE: How can I get my children vaccinated against Covid in Switzerland?