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Vaccine delays costing Switzerland up to 100 million francs a day

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A recent study by Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force calculates that vaccination delays are reducing Switzerland’s national output (GDP) by between CHF 50 – 100 million per day, according to RTS.

Marius Brülhart, an economics professor, told the broadcaster that vaccinating as fast as possible is important not only from a health stand point but also from an economic one.

Some nations have already managed to vaccinate a significantly higher percentage of their populations than Switzerland. Based on vaccinations per 100 people, Israel (60), UAE (36), UK (16) and the US (10) are all well ahead. At last count Switzerland had administered less than 4 per 100 of the population, according to Our World in Data.

Switzerland is ahead of the EU average (3 per 100) however. And some nations often praised for their handling of the pandemic, like New Zealand and Australia, have so far vaccinated no one. New Zealand expects its first doses to arrive at the end of March 2021, according to the Auckland Herald.

According to the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag, 650,000 people could be vaccinated in Switzerland by the end of February 2021 instead of the 1.3 million forecast. 650,000 represents around 8% of the population.

Swiss numbers have been revised down because of vaccine delivery delays. The announced plan expected that 0.525% of the population would be vaccinated each day during February. However, a document obtained by NZZ am Sonntag shows a lower percentage of 0.380% per day. At this rate vaccinating everyone would take between 17 and 18 months, assuming two doses per person.

The authorities hope that delays can be caught up once vaccine supplies are available.

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