News

Europeans Shun Swine Flu Vaccine as Deaths From Virus Increase

A European medical society has expressed alarm at the widespread opposition in Europe against the swine flu vaccine. Meanwhile, experts say the number of deaths in Europe from the H1N1 virus are doubling every two weeks.

Related Articles

Multimedia

Audio
Lisa Bryant

A European medical society has expressed alarm at the widespread opposition in Europe against the swine flu vaccine. Meanwhile, experts say the number of deaths in Europe from the H1N1 virus are doubling every two weeks.

Concern that Europeans are shunning the vaccine against the H1N1 virus was raised this week by the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. The Swiss-based nonprofit says that as European countries roll out their vaccine campaigns, they face opposition from anti-vaccine lobbyists. It says some of these groups are deliberately spreading misinformation. Guiseppe Cornaglia is the society's former president.

"We have strong bodies of evidence from most countries in Europe in which people, including doctors, public health professionals are disseminating doubts about the validity of the vaccine," said Cornaglia. "They are worried about the possible side effects, about what they listen to from friends and the Internet because there is no official source. And they claim the need for a vaccination is not so great to afford these risks."

In France, where a government vaccine campaign kicked off in public schools on Wednesday, a recent survey found only 21 percent of French said they planned on getting vaccinated.

European skepticism about the vaccine comes as the Stockholm-based European Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports the number of deaths in Europe due to the H1N1 virus has been doubling every two weeks since mid-October. Altogether, the center says, about 670 deaths have been reported in Europe since April.

Cornaglia, of the Microbiology society, says doctors and health authorities need to campaign more strongly to get the right information out about the vaccine.

"If the authorities cannot convince the doctors and if the doctors don't advise their own patients, the battle is lost. Because the transmission is not efficient,"  The problem is possibly that the information isn't efficient enough," said Cornaglia.

If the vaccine campaign fails to take off in Europe, the society says, the swine flu pandemic may even spread more widely and cause more deaths, particularly among children and young adults.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs