COVID booster jabs for all? President of Switzerland says yes
After a surge in demand for COVID booster shots in vaccination sites in Zurich, but stagnating vaccination rates elsewhere, Guy Parmelin, the current president of Switzerland, has called for COVID-19 booster jabs to be extended to the general population. The move came at the end of National Vaccination Week, which saw mixed success across the country.
National Vaccination Week in Switzerland produced mixed results
In an interview with NZZ am Sonntag, the President said he was convinced that the third vaccination against coronavirus, already approved for people over 65 years old, would be rolled out to the general population. He said there has to come a point when you “have to admit that not many more people can be convinced to vaccinate.”
Switzerland has just completed its National Vaccination Week, a selection of concerts and special events in all Swiss cities to convince people to take the COVID vaccination. Despite a “rush of the elderly” that saw 2.400 booster jabs done in Zurich, the rate of vaccination has begun to slow down once again, leaving Switzerland lagging behind many of its European neighbours.
2G restrictions in Switzerland a last resort
Guy Parmelin went on to add that the Swiss government had to “take note of the result [of the National Vaccination Week], limit the damage and promote other things: The booster, for example.” He said that he was concerned about the number of vaccinations and whether the “dam we have built” is high enough to cope with the new wave.
The President refused to rule out an overload of the healthcare system, especially in cantons with a low vaccination rate. He said that it may be up to hospitals in cantons with a high vaccination rate, like Zurich, Bern and Basel, to accommodate patients from cantons with a low vaccination rate, like Appenzell Innerrhoden and Obwalden.
Concluding the interview, the President emphasised, “We absolutely want to prevent another lockdown,” and that the Federal Council would only enact stricter rules, like the 2G rule, if absolutely necessary. He also counselled against the “hateful tone” in society in regard to the referendum on the COVID-19 Act, making plain that democratic decisions will apply to everyone.