Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Half of (Hong Kong) health workers reject swine flu shot/AP

LONDON — About half of Hong Kong's health workers would refuse the swine flu vaccine, new research says, a trend that experts say would likely apply worldwide. In a study that polled 2,255 Hong Kong health workers this year, researchers found even during the height of global swine flu panic in May, less than half were willing to get vaccinated...

Paul Chan of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, one of the study authors, thought the results would be similar elsewhere. Fewer than 60 percent of health workers in most countries get vaccinated against regular flu, thought to be a reliable indicator of whether they might get a swine flu shot. In the U.S., about 35 percent of health workers get a regular flu shot, while in Britain, only about 17 percent do.
UPDATE:  The BMJ article from which this piece got its information actually refers to 2 different surveys of Hong Kong health workers.  The first was conducted in Jan-March 2009 (before there was a swine flu pandemic) and asked workers if they would accept a pre-pandemic Avian Flu vaccine (which, by the way, had already been created using novel oil-in-water adjuvants, and stockpiled).  Only 28% agreed to accept that vaccine. 

Then in May 2009 the question was repeated, after the swine pandemic had been identified, asking if health workers would be vaccinated against an actual, not theoretical, pandemic.  At that point, 48% said they would agree with vaccination for themselves.

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