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18 Dec, 2021 07:03

Switzerland likely to hold vote on compulsory vaccination

Switzerland likely to hold vote on compulsory vaccination

A Swiss group seeking a constitutional ban on compulsory vaccination says it has collected enough signatures to put the issue to a vote. The initiative was submitted to the government this week.

The group, called the Swiss Freedom Movement (MLS), formally submitted the proposal to protect people’s “freedom and physical integrity” to the Federal Chancellery in Bern on Thursday.

MLS said they collected 125,000 signatures, which is 25,000 more than what is required by law to put issues to a nationwide vote. The group seeks to amend the constitution to ensure that people “must not be punished” for refusing a vaccine, “nor suffer social or professional disadvantages” because of it.

The group’s president, Richard Koller, told Keystone-SDA news agency that the amendment would apply not only to Covid-19 vaccination, but “to other vaccines, chips and digital information that would be implanted in the body.”

The vote on the ballot initiative will likely happen next year.

Last month, Swiss voters approved a law that allows health passes, which some opponents say is a vaccine mandate in disguise. 

Although there is no broad vaccine mandate now, the country’s Federal Council can require vaccination for certain groups, such as frontline healthcare workers. Some politicians, nonetheless, have spoken in favor of compulsory vaccination, including incoming Swiss President Ignazio Cassis, who said the measure “can be useful,” but “as a last resort.”