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Government should give special vaccine to at risk groups, medical authority says

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Government should give special vaccine to at risk groups, medical authority says
Photo: DPA
09:00 CEST+02:00
The German Medical Association said Tuesday it was angered by reports that government workers will receive a special swine flu vaccination and said it should be given to high risk groups instead.

“I am appalled by the way the government has conveyed this,” German Medical Association Vice President Frank Ulrich Montgomery said.

Criticism of the special A/H1N1 vaccine, which does not contain elements that could cause strong reaction in patients, has grown since the news broke over the weekend.

The general population will be offered the GlaxoSmithKline vaccine, called Pandemrix, which contains a new booster element, or adjuvant, as well as preservative containing mercury. Some critics have said that Pandemrix has not had enough testing and may be risky.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, her cabinet members, ministry civil servants, and soldiers will get Celvapan, produced by US firm Baxter, which does not have the adjuvant or the preservative.

Montgomery said that the public will not accept the Pandemrix vaccine if the government orders a different one for itself. “I reckon that now fewer people will go get vaccinated than expected,” he said, adding that it could regain credibility by making the special vaccine available to children and pregnant women.

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