The federal government announced plans to aggressively push Covid-19 vaccinations with a new programme launching in November 2021 costing CHF 150 million.
The objective of the campaign is to reach a vaccination rate of 93% among those over 65 and a rate of 80% among those aged 18 to 65. These targets will require a further 875,000 people to get vaccinated, reported 20 Minutes.
One idea is to reward those who convince someone to get vaccinated with a CHF 50 payment. A number of political leaders across Switzerland’s cantons have criticised this idea for being unworkable and against the spirit of people doing their bit to safeguard the vulnerable and the health system without payment.
In addition, the federal government aims to recruit 1,700 advisors to inform and encourage the unvaccinated to step up. These people may be used to visit people to discuss vaccination. They would be assigned to 5,000 people and receive CHF 60 an hour.
According to the newspaper SonntagsBlick, vaccination buses capable of vaccinating 50,000 people would be used in cities. 30 buses would circulate in Zurich and 20 in Bern.
Switzerland continues to make progress on vaccination. By 7 October 2021, 60% of the population was fully vaccinated and a further 5% partially jabbed. However, Switzerland continues to trail much of the rest of Europe. With 65% fully (60%) or partially (5%) vaccinated, Switzerland trails Germany (68%), the UK (72%), France (75%), Italy (76%) and Spain (81%) – data here.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Virginie Massey, the head of infectious disease control in Switzerland, described the current rate of immunity as insufficient. She remains concerned that as people migrate indoors the virus could start to spread faster and put strain on the hospital system over the colder winter months. The fear is that with around a million unvaccinated people above the age of 18, there are plenty who remain exposed to the risk of catching the virus and ending up in hospital.