Switzerland’s government has repeatedly said that vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 virus will not be compulsory. However, a group called the Movement for Swiss Freedom (MLS) started collecting signatures this week for a referendum on the subject, according to RTS.
The initiative’s organisers want everyone to be able to decide whether or not they they want to be vaccinated without suffering any social or professional disadvantage.
If successful, the vote would amend Switzerland’s constitution by adding a consent requirement for any breach of an individual’s physical or mental integrity. In addition, any individual refusing vaccination would be protected against any penalty or social or professional prejudice.
The organisers have until 1 June 2022 to raise the required 100,000 signatures for the proposal to be put to Swiss voters.
The initiative comes as no surprise. There has been much talk in Switzerland around the idea of making a SARS-CoV-2 vaccination compulsory despite repeated statements from the Swiss authorities that a vaccination programme will not be compulsory.
MLS, the organisation behind the initiative counts among its members a federal parliamentarian belonging the the Swiss Peoples Party (UDC/SVP).
MLS was behind the failed initiative “No Billag”, which aimed to eliminate the compulsory annual household fee paid to Switzerland’s national broadcaster.