This week, Alain Berset, Switzerland’s health minister said that 80% of the population must be immunised for the virus to stop spreading, according to RTS.
Vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 virus is voluntary in Switzerland.
Currently, estimates suggest only 60% of Switzerland’s population is prepared to be vaccinated, according to Berset, a figure below the level required to get rid of the virus.
If 60% had immunity the virus would still circulate within the population, albeit at a lower rate. We must continue to try to convince people to get vaccinated, he said. Vaccination is not just a personal act, it’s also an act of solidarity, said the minister.
Many experts now question the possibility of ever reaching the point where the virus runs out of steam, a phenomenon known as herd immunity. Data scientist Youyang Gu believes that reaching a herd-immunity threshold is looking unlikely because of factors such as vaccine hesitancy, the emergence of new variants and the delayed arrival of vaccinations for children, according to an article in Nature. Vaccination will help. But as new variants arise and immunity wanes we could find ourselves having to deal with future surges down the line.