One third of nurses may refuse to have the swine flu jab

A poll by 'Nursing Times' magazine shows that one third of UK nurses may refuse to have the swine flu jab. Of 1,500 readers polled, 30 per cent would not say 'yes' to the vaccine, while 33 per cent said 'maybe'. Only 37 per cent said that they would definitely have the jab.

Of those who said they would refuse the jab, 60 per cent said their main reason was concern about the safety of the vaccine. A further 31 per cent said they did not consider the risks to their health from swine flu to be great enough, while 9 per cent thought they would not be able to take time off work to get immunised. Some 91 per cent described themselves as frontline nurses.

Professor David Salisbury, the Department of Health's director of immunisation, said it was unfortunate nurses would 'knowingly leave themselves at risk'. 

The survey comes after health chiefs said doctors should watch out for cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome when the vaccine is introduced in October. The syndrome, which affects around 1,500 people a year in the UK, attacks the nervous system and can result in temporary paralysis.

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