A doctor vaccinates a patient in a municipal vaccination centre in Nice, southeastern France, September 9,2009 (REUTERS)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nearly two-thirds of U.S. parents say they will hold off having their children vaccinated against the H1N1 swine flu or will not get them immunized at all, according to a survey released on Wednesday.
The findings, published by Consumer Reports, underscore one of the main challenges facing the Obama administration as it readies a massive swine flu vaccination roll-out — how to persuade the most vulnerable people to protect themselves against the new virus.
H1N1, which emerged last March and became a pandemic in June, puts children and young people at greater risk than the elderly for severe illness and death. Pregnant women and people with underlying medical problems such as lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk.
Consumer Reports, a magazine published by the nonprofit advocacy group Consumers Union, surveyed 1,502 adults by telephone from September 2-7.
It found that 50 percent of parents are delaying the vaccination decision, mainly because they were wary about whether the new H1N1 vaccine has been tested enough.
The same concerns were shared by 14 percent of parents who have ruled out vaccination altogether.
About 35 percent of adults surveyed said they would definitely have their children vaccinated, significantly higher than the 22 percent of 5- to 18-year-olds who are immunized in a typical year, according to federal statistics.
The survey also found 43 percent of parents were not too worried about their children contracting H1N1, while about the same number worried about other parents overreacting.
The poll has a 3 percentage point margin of error and was taken before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved new vaccines for the H1N1 virus.
Preliminary test results have since shown children respond to the new vaccine just as they do to seasonal flu vaccines, with those over age 10 needing a single dose but children under 9 needing two.
Consumer Reports said it recommends that people within high risk groups consider immunization when the vaccine starts to become available next month.
The U.S. government has ordered vaccine from MedImmune, a unit of AstraZeneca, Sanofi-Aventis, Australia’s CSL, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis.
U.S. health officials, who say immunization provides the best protection against flu infection, warn that low vaccine demand could now have dire consequences.
The elderly are a prime target for seasonal flu strains that kill about 36,000 people during mild outbreaks. But officials warn that many of those deaths this season could be children aged 18 and under.
The Obama administration plans to begin distributing vaccine doses next week as part of an immunization campaign that should ramp up to over 250 million doses by the end of the year.
H1N1, currently the dominant flu strain, has infected millions of people in the United States, and in late summer, intensified strongly in the U.S. Southeast where the school year tends to begin early.
(Editing by John O’Callaghan)
By David Morgan David Morgan – Wed Sep 30, 6:42 pm ET
Information on swine flu and vaccination:
– Australia: Nationwide swine flu vaccination
– US: Military to get mandatory swine flu shots soon
– Washington State lifts limit on mercury preservative in swine-flu vaccine
– Forced Swine Flu Vaccination Refused By Nurses In New York
– Long Island nurses to rally against mandatory swine flu vaccines
– Seasonal flu shot may increase H1N1 risk
– First wave of vaccine will be mostly nasal spray, a LIVE FLU VIRUS
– Nanoparticles used in untested swine flu vaccines
– China: Mass Swine Flu Vaccination
– US: Governor Baldacci proclaims civil emergency due to H1N1
– EMERGENCY UPDATE: French government document details forced mass vaccination plans from September 28th: GPs and hospitals to be excluded.
– Study: Causal Connection Between Thimerosal and Autism Established
– Historical facts exposing the dangers and ineffectiveness of vaccines
– Exposed: ‘The Swine Flu Hoax’ by Andrew Bosworth, Ph.D.
– Up to 60% of doctors may refuse swine flu vaccine
– Massachusetts ’swine flu’ legislation: A $1000 fine per day or up to 30 days in prison for each day that you do not follow the emergency declaration rules
– Yes, you will! FORCED vaccinations, isolation & quarantine, health care interrogations and mandatory ‘decontaminations’
– German health expert’s swine flu warning; Does virus vaccine increase the risk of cancer?
– Dr. Russell Blaylock: Harmful Effects of Swine Flu Vaccine
– Swine Flu: The DynCorp ‘COINCIDENCE’
– H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic: October Surprise Prevention
– Dr. Russell Blaylock: How to reduce the toxic effects if force vaccinated
– Poll: Only a third of nurses willing to have swine flu vaccine
– Leaked Government letter to neurologists reveals concern about swine flu vaccine
– Untested swine flu vaccine could be given to your children
– £27,000 swine flu bonus for GPs
– Squalene: The Swine Flu Vaccine’s Dirty Little Secret Exposed
– NVIC on swine flu and the consequences for you!
– US Military To Work With FEMA During Swine Flu Pandemic
– Former Assistant Secretary of Housing: ‘I believe one of the goals of the swine flu vaccine is depopulation’
– US: 12,000 Children To Be Swine Flu Vaccine Guinea Pigs
– Baxter Filed Swine Flu Vaccine Patent a Year Ahead of Outbreak
– UK Government Swine Flu Advisor On Vaccine Maker Payroll
– Swine flu vaccine to be cleared after five-day trial !!!
– Baxter sent out 72 kilos of live bird flu material destined for vaccines confirmed by Austrian Health Minister Alois Stöger
– Baxter: Product contaminated with live H5N1 avian flu virus
– New Zealand orders 300,000 doses of untested and unapproved swine flu vaccine
– Journalist Files Charges against WHO and UN for Bioterrorism and Intent to Commit Mass Murder
– Swine Flu 1976: Reality vs. Propaganda
– Homeopathy Successfully Treated Flu Epidemic of 1918
– Dr. Russell Blaylock on 1976 Swine Flu and Current Outbreak
Swine Flu and the Microchip:
– VeriChip Corp. Granted Exclusive License for Patents Used in Virus Triage Detection System for H1N1 Virus
– Greg Evenson on Microchips and Swine Flu
– Whistleblower: Forced vaccinations – clear warning
Additional information on Tamiflu:
– Canada ignores Oxford University’s warning about Tamiflu
– Swine flu: TV presenter’s daughter almost died after taking Tamiflu
– Study: Tamiflu causes sickness and nightmares in children
– Tamiflu drug made with cocktail of chemical ingredients, linked with bizarre behavior
– Bird Flu Medicine Toxic for Teens