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Stubborn doctors told to get swine flu vaccine

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Stubborn doctors told to get swine flu vaccine
Photo: DPA
11:26 CEST+02:00
The chairman of Germany's official vaccination committee (STIKO) has told doctors to have themselves immunised against the H1-N1 virus whatever their personal opinions on the vaccine, it emerged Saturday.

STIKO chairman Friedrich Hofmann told unwilling doctors that it was their medical duty to put their personal opinions and misgivings about the recently introduced swine flu vaccine aside.

Speaking in an interview with news magazine Focus, Hofmann said medical staff have a special responsibility because they come into regular contact with patients suffering from weakened immune systems.

Representatives of doctors had questioned both the efficacy and the necessity of the vaccine in recent weeks, raising particular questions over the vaccine's booster ingredient.

"A doctor can be a carrier, and can inadvertently infect someone who will feel greater ill-effects from the virus," Hofmann said.

Hofmann's declarations came in the face of apparent widespread indifference in Germany about swine flu and the government-sanctioned vaccine.

78 percent of Germans do not intend to have themselves vaccinated against swine flu, according to a new survey published in Focus and carried out by pollsters polis/USUMA. Only 14 percent of the 1,012 survey participants said they did intend to get the state-approved jab, while 8 percent remain undecided.

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