Calling itself the “Swiss Freedom Movement”, those behind the campaign have appealed to the population to support the vote by preserving “freedom and integrity” in Switzerland.
The goal of the campaign is to force a nationwide referendum on the question of whether the coronavirus vaccine should be compulsory.
The campaigners want to enshrine in the Swiss constitution that anyone who refuses to be vaccinated will not suffer any social or professional consequences.
“Current developments show that we cannot trust the Federal Council; politicians with their task forces and experts. As a result, a popular initiative will probably be the only way to stop the dictatorship over our way of life” the campaigners said in a statement.
Proponents have until June 1st, 2020, to gather 100,000 signatures in order to put the issue to a vote.
Will the vaccine be compulsory?
The likelihood of a compulsory vaccination regime in Switzerland is low.
While the government has said on several occasions that there will be no nationwide mandatory vaccination, there have been some indications that people in particular professions may be required to receive the vaccine in order to continue their work.
In April, Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset said “Swiss law does not allow us to force someone to get vaccinated against their will”.
As reported by The Local Switzerland in June, a vaccine could be made compulsory in Switzerland for people in certain occupations.
Dominique Sprumont, deputy director of the Institute of Health Law at the University of Neuchâtel, explained that immunisation will be obligatory for people in certain jobs, such as healthcare professionals and others whose work brings them in close contact with the public. But others “can't be compelled by force to vaccinated”, he added.
Sprumont said the vaccine will be compulsory, “but compulsory does not mean forced”.