How many vaccinated and unvaccinated people have died from Covid in Switzerland?

Almost a year after Switzerland’s first Covid vaccination, new statistics have shed light on how rare fatalities among fully vaccinated people are.

A sign on the door outside the Geneva University Hospital
What are the comparative fatality rates for vaccinated and non-vaccinated people in Switzerland? Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

The first vaccination in Switzerland was administered on December 23rd, with a 90-year-old woman in Lausanne the first to get the jab. 

Since then, 5,752,384 (66.05 percent) of the population have become fully vaccinated. 

Only a few people who had been fully inoculated against Covid have died from coronavirus in Swiss hospitals since the start of the year, according to an assessment of the Covid-19 surveillance system of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

REVEALED: Why Covid rates in some Swiss cantons are ‘five times’ higher

Since the start of vaccination in December 2020 and until the end of August this year, the reporting system, in which 20 Swiss hospitals participate, recorded 5,928 Covid-related hospitalisations; of these patients, 495 died.

Only 14 victims were doubly vaccinated. 

Sadly, one of those fully vaccinated people was the first person in Switzerland to get the jab. Her family at the time blamed Switzerland’s stalling booster shot campaign for her death, with the woman still waiting to receive her third jab

Among the fully vaccinated, five of them were over 80, five between 70 and 79 and four between 60 and 69.

Of those who died, 44 had been vaccinated with only one dose. 

By far the largest share of deaths (437, or about 88 percent) was recorded among unvaccinated people.

Of the 5,928 patients who were hospitalised, 5,488 (93 percent) were not vaccinated At the same time, only 153 people had to be treated in hospital despite a double vaccination.

READ MORE: Unvaccinated ‘three times more contagious’ than vaccinated in Switzerland

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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?