|Less than one third say they will definitely get H1N1 shot|
Monday, Oct 26, 2009
people of China are the latest to reject the H1N1 vaccine, according to results of national poll there indicating that concern over the vaccine's safety outweighs concern over the virus itself.
The poll, conducted by China Daily and news website sohu.com found that only 30% of 2,000 respondents said they would definitely get the shot.
Over 54% of the respondents rejected the vaccine outright, meaning that 702 000 000 people will refuse to roll up their sleeves and take the shot.
The survey indicates a seismic shift in popular opinion from just two months ago, when 76% of people in China indicated that they would opt for inoculation.
The primary reason for the turnaround, according to the survey results, is a general worry over the quality and reliability of the vaccine, given that it has been fastracked and is based on "mock up vaccines" that are up to two years old.
Just two deaths resulting from H1N1 flu have been confirmed in China, according to the health ministry.
The views of the Chinese people also reflect those of populations within the United States, Canada, the UK and in the rest of Europe.
Last week, when the first H1N1 vaccines became available, 62% of American respondents to an ABC News/Washington Post survey said they will probably not get vaccinated, while 30% said they are not confident in the shot's safety.
Despite a relatively low number of deaths in the U.S. (see table below), coupled with the fact that the H1N1 virus remains mild, President Obama declared a national state of emergency over the weekend, prompting fears of mandatory vaccinations and martial law.
Meanwhile, in Europe, similar levels of rejection of the vaccine have been reported, with large portions of Danes, Finns, Germans, French, Spanish, Belgians and Dutch people all saying they do not intend to take the shot.
The number of refusniks is set to increase following reports late last week of severe side effects and even deaths in Sweden and Bulgaria that may have been linked with the vaccine.
In France, nine individuals have filed formal charges claiming that the H1N1 mass vaccination campaign is a deliberate attempt to poison the French population.
In Germany, where the mass vaccination campaign begins today, just 13% now say they are willing to take the shot, down from 51% in July.
The dramatic fall off in willing recipients follows revelations that government officials, the German military, police and members of pandemic crisis committees will receive a non adjuvanted H1N1 vaccine, while the general public will only be offered the GlaxoSmithKline Pandemrix shot, which contains squalene and thimerosal.