Coronavirus: Confederation and cantons launch national vaccination week
Bern, 03.11.2021 - Vaccination remains the most effective means of ending the pandemic in Switzerland. With this in mind, the Confederation and the cantons are launching a new vaccination campaign to inform as many people as possible about the benefits of getting vaccinated. The first stage of the campaign will be a national vaccination week running from 8 to 14 November with the slogan ‘Pulling out of the pandemic together’. Secondly, additional mobile vaccination centres throughout Switzerland will make it easier for people to get vaccinated over the coming weeks. As the third element of the campaign, special advisers will be directly available to anyone looking for more information about vaccination.
The vaccination campaign enjoys broad support and aims to reach the entire population. The Confederation and the cantons as well as numerous associations and organisations are working intensively on ways to implement it. There are three elements to the campaign: a national vaccination week, additional mobile advisory and vaccination centres, and one-to-one information services.
‘Pulling out of the pandemic together’: national vaccination week from 8 to 14 November
The aim of vaccination week is to inform as many people as possible about the benefits of vaccination. The theme of the week is ‘Pulling out of the pandemic together’ and the focus will be on how vaccination benefits society as a whole. All cantons as well as many clubs, associations and organisations will offer local events providing advice and easy access to vaccination, such as a vaccination night or livestream with experts. Reliable facts about vaccination will be clearly presented in several languages, for example on the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine, possible side effects, the health risks associated with COVID-19, and the various vaccination options.
From 7 November, more than 80 public figures from the worlds of sport, culture, business and politics will appear in advertisements to promote vaccination week. The website impfwoche.ch contains information about vaccination week and the COVID-19 vaccine as well as links to events in the cantons.
As part of vaccination week, there will also be an information and concert tour – 'Back on Tour' – held in Thun (8 Nov.), Lausanne (9 Nov.), Sion (10 Nov.), St Gallen (12 Nov.) and Lucerne (13 Nov.). The tour featuring Stefanie Heinzmann, Danitsa, Stress, Dabu, Kunz and special guests Baschi, Anna Rossinelli, and Sophie Hunger will be launched on 8 November by President Guy Parmelin in front of the Federal Palace. The concert events will also offer advice about the vaccine and opportunities to get vaccinated. The number of spectators will be limited to 500 and, as the concerts are being held outdoors, there is no requirement to present a COVID certificate. Tickets are now available free of charge at impfwoche.ch.
Additional mobile advisory and vaccination centres
A large number of mobile advisory and vaccination centres, such as vaccination buses, will travel around the cantons during vaccination week and the following weeks. This will give people who have not yet been vaccinated easy access to advisory services and, if they wish, immediate vaccination. Individual advisory services will be available for people who are still undecided.
Vaccine advisers will also help people who may be looking for a vaccination centre, a doctor or, if necessary, an interpreter. It has not yet been determined how many additional mobile units and how many advisers will be available in the coming weeks, as not all cantons have yet presented their plans.
Cost ceiling of CHF 96 million
The vaccination campaign will cost the Confederation a maximum of CHF 96 million. By comparison, free tests for COVID certificates would cost up to CHF 50 million a week. A higher vaccination rate also produces greater healthcare and economic benefits: on average, one hospital admission can be prevented for every 50 vaccinations and one ICU admission prevented for every 150 vaccinations. Furthermore, additional costs can be saved by avoiding shutdowns, particularly in catering and hospitality, fitness centres or leisure activities.
Low vaccination rate
Compared with other European countries, Switzerland has a low vaccination rate, with only 73% of people aged 12 and over fully vaccinated. The Confederation and the cantons see vaccination as the fastest and most effective means of moving out of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will take a significantly higher vaccination rate to achieve the level of immunity needed to protect the population from serious illness and prevent overloading the health care system. Based on current knowledge, the vaccination rate – for the Delta variant and not including those who have already recovered – would have to be around 93% for the over-65s and 80% for those aged between 18 and 65.
Fragile epidemiological situation
The epidemiological situation remains fragile. The vaccination rate is currently too low and the pace of vaccinations too slow to prevent another strong wave of infection as winter approaches. Following several weeks of declining case numbers, the trend has now reversed. This was to be expected, given the drop in temperatures, the end of the autumn school holidays, an insufficient level of immunity and the far more contagious Delta variant. It is not yet possible to say with any certainty how severe or rapid the rise in hospital admissions will be over the next few weeks. In any case, the current rise case numbers is likely to have a knock-on effect on the number of hospital admissions and the required ICU capacity.
Information about the 'Back on Tour' concert series and how to register:
A press conference will be held via Zoom at 9.00 am on Thursday, 4.11.2021, with artists taking part in the information and concert tour.
Address for enquiries
Federal Office of Public Health
Coronavirus Infoline +41 58 463 00 00
COVID-19 Vaccination Infoline +41 58 377 88 92
Swiss Conference of the Cantonal Ministers of
Public Health (GDK)
+41 31 356 20 39