Clinician uptake of swine flu jabs higher than expected

Uptake of the swine flu vaccine among doctors appears to be high, despite initial concerns that they would shun the jab over safety fears.

A GP poll conducted in August found that one in three GPs would choose not to be vaccinated. Of those planning to refuse, 71% feared the vaccine had not been tested enough to guarantee safety.

But Ian Dalton, DoH national director for flu resilience, presented positive anecdotal evidence from a series of ‘informal conservations' with healthcare professionals at a media briefing in London last week.

He said: ‘West Midlands ambulance services have offered the jab to 1,015 front-line staff and 713 have agreed to have the vaccine.

‘Guys and St Thomas's Hospitals received 2,000 doses of the swine flu vaccine and have administered 1,500 to frontline staff. They have also administered 4,000 doses of the seasonal flu vaccine compared with 2,000 last year.'

Over 1,000 staff have been vaccinated at York Hospital, with very high uptake among those in paediatrics and intensive care, added Mr Dalton.



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