A large number of those who have been chosen as primary recipients of the H1N1 vaccine are declining the injection, apparently because many Danes have the impression that swine flu is not as dangerous as first suggested.
Some 360,000 police officers, nurses, doctors and others deemed to be in key functions have been offered the vaccine but under a third have applied.
”After planning and and carrying out 12 seasons of mass vaccinations against influenza, I would think that at the moment only about 30 percent of those in key functions are prepared to take the vaccine,” says Danske Lægers Vaccinations Service (DLVS, Danish Doctors Vaccination Service) Chairman Karsten Østergaard.
The DLVS is Denmark’s largest vaccination agency, which is in constant contact wioth national and local authorities in connection with the vaccination of key personnel, and based on reporting from these authorities the service says only few want the vaccine.
A majority of police officers that Police Federation Head of Secretariat Hans Bundesen has been in contact with say they do not want the vaccine.
The Doctors’ Associaition and the Danish Nursing Council have advised their members to be vaccinated, but are unsure how many members will actually have the injection.
Østergaard says that reticence is the result of National Board of Health and Health Minister Jakob Axel Nielsen’s statements that the H1N1 virus is not as dangerous as first thought.
”The National Board of Health’s evaluation is that the population in Denmark need not generally be worried about infection (with H1N1),” the Board says prominently on its webpage.
The National Board of Health says that a total of some 1.1 million Danes will be offered the H1N1 vaccine.