Anti-mandatory vaccine referendum campaign launched in Switzerland

Anti-mandatory vaccine referendum campaign launched in Switzerland
Empty seats in Swiss parliament. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
Just two days after Switzerland’s last set of referendums, a campaign has been launched for a nationwide vote to prevent any coronavirus vaccines from being made mandatory.

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. 

READ: Could Swiss authorities prevent you from travelling if you refuse the coronavirus vaccine? 

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. 

READ: Will residents in Switzerland be allowed to go to Germany for Covid-19 vaccination? 

 

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”.

READ: How Switzerland plans to roll out the coronavirus vaccine 

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”.


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