UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 25, 2009

OVER HALF OF BRITISH DOCTORS MAY REFUSE SWINE FLU JABS

Guardian, UK - A survey of GPs published on Healthcare Republic, the website of GP magazine, found that up to 60% of GPs may decline vaccination. Although the numbers who responded were small - 216 GPs - they are in line with a much bigger survey of nurses published a week ago by Nursing Times, which found that a third of 1,500 nurses would refuse vaccination. A Canadian study published in the journal Emerging Health Threats suggests the public, too, will have reservations that must be overcome if a vaccination campaign is to be successful in the autumn or winter. The study, which used focus groups to establish the likely response of different people to a vaccine, pointed to the need to win over people who believe that alternative therapies and a good diet are a better option than vaccines. But the biggest problem in persuading people and healthcare professionals to have the jab may be the relative shortage of evidence from trials about its safety and efficacy. Because of the urgent need for a vaccine, testing will be limited. Among the GPs who responded to the survey published by Healthcare Republic, 29% said they would not choose to have the vaccine and 29% said they were unsure whether or not they would. . .71.3% said they were "concerned that the vaccine has not yet been through sufficient trials to guarantee safety". Half said they "believe that swine flu is too mild to justify taking the vaccine". Only 8.7% said they did not believe they were at risk.

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