From Saturday Switzerland has allowed large public events with 10,000-plus people that comes as government data appears to show vaccines are helping to control new infections that are mostly hitting people who remain unprotected.
According to Swiss Federal Health Ministry data provided to Reuters on Thursday said that between Jan. 27 and June 21, only 209 of 180,000 new infections recorded in Switzerland were seen in people fully vaccinated with shots from Moderna or Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech.
The vast majority of these so-called breakthrough cases are of infections are recorded in fully vaccinated people that were studied using genetic sequencing involved the Alpha variant that was the first recorded in Britain and which began spreading in Switzerland around the new year, said the ministry.
A Health Ministry spokesman said, “There is currently no evidence that the Delta variant leads to more vaccine breakthroughs than Alpha.”
The only single breakthrough infection has been reported for more infectious Delta variant that was first reported in India and is now a global concern as it fast becomes the dominant variant.
However, there is emerging, and sometimes conflicting, data regarding the Delta variant’s threat.
The other study from Scotland found that the Delta variant may double the hospitalization risk.
England, which has delayed fully reopening as cases rise despite high vaccination rates, has trimmed the recommended gap between first and second COVID-19 shots to eight weeks from 12 for some groups of the population, because of the fast-spreading Delta variant and data showing protection is much higher after the second dose.
In another study, Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines were judged effective against the variant, while yet another from a U.K. and Indian group concluded Delta’s rapid growth was “most likely explained by a combination of increased transmissibility and immune evasion” including vaccine escape.
Another 1.5 million people have received a single shot and are awaiting a booster.
In Switzerland, 2.6 million of its 8.6-million-person population have received two doses of mRNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer which are the only two vaccines available in the country.