Europe

Only one Western European country has a vaccination rate lower than the US

Switzerland is the only Western European country with a vaccination rate lower than the U.S. - and there's no sign of that changing anytime soon.

As of Wednesday, only 48.6 percent of the Swiss population was fully vaccinated, compared with 49.9 percent in the U.S.

Within Europe, only eastern and southeastern countries have vaccination rates lower than Switzerland's.

A recent poll in Switzerland by the broadcaster SRF found that while about 45 percent of the population is still unvaccinated, only 3 percent of survey respondents said they wanted to get vaccinated soon.

In the U.S., a survey released this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 3 percent of adults plan to get vaccinated as soon as they can.

The results of the two polls suggest Switzerland will continue to lag the U.S. in vaccination rates.

Overall, Europe is outperforming the U.S. when it comes to the percentage of adults who are at least partially vaccinated. The European Union hit the 70 percent mark about a week before the U.S. did.

Polling in Switzerland also suggests a growing sense of frustration that the vaccine will help bring about the end of the pandemic. Between March and June, the percentage of respondents who said the vaccine would spur a return to normalcy dropped from 61 to 51 percent.

The number of vaccines administered daily in the country of 8.5 million has slowed to about 20,000 after peaking at 92,000 on June 10.

Almost 11,000 people in Switzerland have died of COVID-19.

The Swiss government is planning to take new steps to encourage residents to roll up their sleeves and get the vaccine. Soon unvaccinated people will have to pay for COVID-19 tests themselves, Swiss Federal President Guy Parmelin announced in an interview with SonntagsBlick.

For now, every Swiss citizen without symptoms is entitled to unlimited antigen tests and five self-tests per month. PCR tests are also free for those showing symptoms.

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