Swiss warm up to Covid-19 vaccine

More than one million people in Switzerland had been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Keystone / Alexandra Wey

Vaccine hesitancy is subsiding in Switzerland where a poll found that almost three-quarters of the population are now willing to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. 

This content was published on May 8, 2021 - 12:46

The vast majority of Swiss people (73%) wants to get inoculated, according to survey results published by the German-language newspaper Schweiz am Wochenende.

Fifteen percent remain undecided and 12% oppose vaccination – compared to 28% in November.

"The willingness to be vaccinated is increasing rapidly," says Marcel Zbinden, an occupational psychologist at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, which conducted the survey.

Zbinden notes the mood has shifted dramatically in favour of vaccines over the past two weeks.

The poll also found that men were slightly more willing to get the vaccine than women and that vaccine hesitancy is higher in rural and mountainous areas compared to cities.

Interest in vaccination is lowest among 18- to 49-year-olds.

The survey also asked whether vaccinated people should receive benefits if all those who want to be vaccinated have received the two doses needed by July. 

Sixty-five percent of respondents said vaccinated people should be eligible for some special privileges, such as access to football matches, concerts and flying. 

But most reject the notion that proof of vaccination be used in daily life to access restaurants, public transportation or shops.

More than one million people in Switzerland have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. That is 11.7% of the population, a figure in line with the European Union average.

EU nations and Switzerland, home to many pharmaceutical companies, have been slow to roll out vaccines. The United States has already inoculated a third of its population. Britain is also well ahead.

Israel, which has a population of 9 million compared to Switzerland's 8.6 million, has the highest per capita inoculation rate in the world. Five million Israelis have been fully vaccinated since the start of the country's inoculation campaign in late December.

Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are currently being administered in Switzerland as others still await regulatory approval.

The Alpine nation aims to have a a certificate for those who have been vaccinated, those who have recovered from the coronavirus and those who have recently tested negative ready by the end of June.

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