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Pregnant women rejecting swine flu vaccine over safety fears

By Gareth Iacobucci

Pregnant women are rejecting GPs' attempts to persuade them to have the swine flu vaccine in their droves.

GPs across the country have reported that mothers-to-be are saying no to the vaccine because of concerns about the vaccine's safety.

The Government this week launched a nationwide campaign to try to persuade mothers to be to be vaccinated, but our findings suggest it is battling against the tide.

Dr Chris Udenze, a GP in Nottingham, said there was widespread scepticism about the vaccine among his pregnant patients.

‘In all the pregnant women we've offered it to, I think only about one in 20 has agreed,' he said.

Dr Andy Rose, a GP in Kensington, south west London, said his practice was encountering ‘considerable scepticism' from pregnant women.

And Dr Sharon Shmueli, a GP in Swindon, said that ‘less than 25%' of pregnant patients at her practice had chosen to be vaccinated.

Many GPs have also been reluctant to endorse the vaccine, with one GP warning testing it on pregnant women ‘did not bear thinking about'.

The Government has attempted to reassure that the vaccine is safe for pregnant women and could give a child some protection against the disease.

An information leaflet, to be distributed in GP surgeries from next week, urges women to take up the vaccine, which it says ‘could help you avoid catching swine flu and protect your baby'.

The leaflet explains pregnant women are considerably more likely to develop serious complications from swine flu, with the World Health Organization suggesting 10% of all hospitalised patients with swine flu are women who are more than three months' pregnant.

swine flu vaccination

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