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Switzerland in race for sufficient Covid immunisation

Free Covid self-testing kits have been made available in 1,800 pharmacies across the country on Wednesday. © Keystone/Gaetan Bally

Health authorities have called for an extra effort from the Swiss population to keep Covid-19 infections as low as possible in the next few months.

This content was published on April 7, 2021 - 16:17
swissinfo.ch/urs

“We’re approaching the finishing line,” said Martin Ackermann, president of the government’s scientific Covid task force, at a news conference on Wednesday.

He listed several health and economic reasons for trying to contain the rise in infections and hospitalisations between now and the end of June.

Ackermann said it takes about 50% of a population to be immunised to reach a sufficiently stable situation.

Switzerland’s vaccination campaign started more than three months ago but has run into trouble, notably over a lack of supplies.

But the pharmaceutical companies Moderna and BioNTech have confirmed the delivery of 8.1 million doses of vaccines by the end of July.

About one million people in Switzerland, or just under 7% of the population aged over 16, have been fully vaccinated so far. Another 600,000 people have received a first dose, according to Patrick Mathys of the Federal Office for Public Health.

Self-testing

Meanwhile, Swiss residents with health insurance coverage can now receive a maximum of five free self-testing Covid-19 kits per month.

The association of pharmacies said there had been steady interest for the equipment on Wednesday but there was no information about a possible shortage in a specific region.

Many customers had asked for additional information on the practical and financial aspects of the testing, according to a statement by pharmaSuisseExternal link.

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