Take swine flu jab, experts urge

Leading immunisation experts have stressed the importance of the forthcoming swine flu vaccination campaign, amid concerns that GPs and patients will refuse the jab.

This month, a GP survey found that nearly 60 per cent of GPs would choose not to be vaccinated (GP, 4 September). Of those planning to refuse, 71 per cent feared the vaccine had not been tested enough to guarantee safety.

But experts told a media briefing in central London this week that the vaccine was safe having gone through a number of trials, and that many lives would be saved through the vaccination programme.

Professor Robert Dingwall, from the University of Nottingham, said: 'The CMO investigation has shown that 50 per cent of deaths from swine flu have occurred in the at-risk groups who will be vaccinated.

'A vaccination programme does not pose the problem of creating resistance which excessive antiviral use could produce.'

He added that cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome were a rare complication more likely to be caused by the influenza virus itself than the actual flu vaccine.

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