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Pregnant women refuse swine-flu vaccination over safety fears

18 November 2009

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Swine-flu vaccinations are being refused by half of those who GPs offer it to over fears of possible side effects, according to a survey.

It has found that concerns are particularly high among pregnant women, with one doctor reporting that as few as one in 20 have agreed to receive the jab.

The number of new swine-flu infections is at present around 64,000 a week in England, and last week the government published online information and leaflets urging pregnant women to have the vaccination.

Another factor reported by the 107 GPs questioned is the perception that the virus has been so mild that it is not worth the time and effort to be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the government has reassured GPs that they will not lose out financially if they immunise more patients than the 50.7% they usually cover with the seasonal flu jab.

GPs who vaccinate more than that number in high-risk groups will have the amount of work they are required to do in other areas reduced while still being paid the full amount.

Copyright © Press Association 2009