People throughout Europe are rejecting the H1N1 vaccine en mass, despite huge campaigns by their governments to get them to take the shot when it becomes available within the next week.
In Germany uproar continues to grow concerning the fact that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and government ministers, as well as the armed forces there, will receive a special, additive-free H1N1 vaccine.
The soldiers and the German government elites will receive Celvapan, an adjuvant-free vaccine manufactured by Baxter. The German public, however, will receive a vaccine produced by GlaxoSmithKline which contains squalene and the mercury based preservative thimerosal.
A report yesterday in the leading German newspaper Die Welt describes the public sentiment towards the news:
That throws a treacherous light on the announcements of the German health ministry and the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) responsible for vaccines. Why should the government and high-ranking officials get special treatment, the people who they rule over are asking. The dirty word of a "two-tier medicine" comes to mind. And then thoughts turn to Orwell’s novel "Animal Farm" where all are equal but "some are more equal."
Polls in Germany, even before this news, have indicated that only one third of the population are interested in receiving the H1N1 vaccination.
Last week Spiegel reported that there has been an “open rebellion” by general medical professionals and child physicians in Germany over use of the toxic vaccine. Dieter Ludwig, chairman of the drug commission of the German medical profession, told Spiegel that health authorities have colluded with pharmaceutical companies.
GlaxoSmithKline itself has issued a press statement in which the company defends the decision by the German government.
Across the border in Denmark, public officials and health care workers chosen as primary recipients of the vaccine are declining it, saying that the virus is too mild to warrant taking the shot.
Of 360,000 police officers, nurses, doctors and others identified as holding key positions, only around 30% have applied for vaccination appointments, according to Denmark’s largest vaccination agency.
Danske Lægers Vaccinations Service (DLVS, Danish Doctors Vaccination Service) Chairman Karsten Østergaard revealed that under a third of those chosen will take the vaccine.
The news comes despite extensive planning for a massive swine flu immunization campaign on behalf of the Danish Government this Fall to inoculate one fifth of the total population.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of Scandinavian neighbours in Finland have indicated that they have no interest in taking the vaccine.
Results of three major nationwide polls held by Finnish media outlets Ilta-Sanomat, MTV3 and Helsingin Sanomat reveal that up to 75% of people there will refuse to take the H1N1 shot when it becomes available in the next few days.
Rejection of the vaccine is also prevalent In the Netherlands, with two thirds of nursing staff saying they do not want to be inoculated against the H1N1 virus. Large portions of the populations of France, Belgium and Spain have also indicated they want no part of the jab.