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.