Fear over lack of testing, possible side effects cited in survey
Thursday, Oct 1, 2009
A survey conducted by a leading consumer watchdog group has found that the vast majority of parents in the U.S. say they will not vaccinate their children against H1N1 flu, citing concerns over the safety of the vaccine.
The results of the poll have been published by the independent, nonprofit organization Consumers Union in their magazine Consumer Reports , one of the top-ten-circulation magazines in the country.
Almost two thirds of respondents to the poll stated that they would either refuse the vaccine outright or wait for more information  before considering vaccinating their children.
Exactly 50% said that they would hold off on immunizing their kids due to concerns about possible side effects of the vaccine and worries over whether it has been tested enough.
A further 14% of parents ruled out vaccination altogether as an option.
43% of the parents said that they were not worried about their children catching swine flu, and an equal amount said they felt other parents were overreacting.
35% of respondents said that they would definitely vaccinate their children.
Consumers Union, which has been in operation for over seventy years and has offices in Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas, surveyed 1,502 adults by telephone over a five day period last month. The Group has recommended that parents consider immunizing their children against swine flu this Fall.
The results of this survey come in the wake of others that found the majority of doctors and health care workers  would also refuse to be vaccinated over safety concerns, as well as half of all pregnant women .
As we have previously reported, Pandemrix, the H1N1 vaccine manufactured by GlaxoSmithKilne for use in the U.S. and the U.K., contains both the novel adjuvant  squalene , which has been linked to Gulf War Syndrome, and thimerosal , the mercury based preservative that some scientists have testified is a cause of autism.
In addition, the European Medicines Agency states on its pandemic website  that there is “no clinical experience in the elderly, in children or in adolescents” with Pandemrix.
Authorisation was fast tracked for the vaccine based on research using “mock up” bird flu (H5N1) vaccines dating from 2007 and 2008.
The vaccine is now being given to children  as young as six months in the U.S. and the U.K., along with a rival vaccine produced by Novartis in the U.S., and another produced by Baxter in the U.K.
Medical observers are watching closely to determine which vaccine produces the least side effects.
The vaccines have been rushed through safety procedures  while the government has provided pharmaceutical companies with blanket immunity from lawsuits  arriving out of the vaccine causing deaths and injuries.