(MENAFN – Swissinfo) Things have taken a very serious turn in Switzerland since I last wrote about the coronavirus six weeks ago. We are now entering the second wave of the pandemic with higher absolute numbers of positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths than seen in the spring. Among the highest rates in Europe.
This content is published on 21 November 2020 – 08:00 21 November 2020 – 08:00 Clare O’Dea
Clare reports on scientific developments in Switzerland
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Around 1,600 lives were lost due to Covid-19 here in the last four weeks alone bringing the total deaths over the nine months of the pandemic to around 3,500. As you can see from this Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) data, it looks like the worst is over – for now. This information comes from the coronavirus specialty website FHOP which posts the latest numbers every morning from Monday to Thursday.
More reasons than ever to welcome the latest advances in vaccine development. First, we asked Pfizer and BioNTech to announce on November 9 that their vaccine candidate had proven to be more than 90 percent effective in preventing Covid-19.
Next comes Moderna with news about a 95% effective messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, also in clinical trials in tens of thousands of people. As previously mentioned, Moderna has production sites in Visp, Switzerland through its Swiss partner, Lonza. You can read our latest story on vaccine approval and procurement in Switzerland here.
This week, we asked our readers if they would be vaccinated for Covid-19, and the responses varied widely. (Let us know what you think by joining the debate here!)
Several people I know have expressed doubts about the safety or efficacy of vaccines being developed so rapidly, and these concerns are understandable. The issue is best explained in this Twitter thread by Mark Toshner, a clinical trials doctor from the University of Cambridge who responded to allegations that a vaccine ‘usually takes 10 years’. Apparently most of those 10 years were usually spent waiting.
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