Simone Roberts
Pharmacy News
Posted April 26, 2010

AUSTRALIA– The mass vaccination program for swine flu has come under fire from an infectious disease expert who says the risk of serious side effects was greater than any potential benefit for half the Australian population.

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Writing in the latest issue of Australian Prescriber, Professor Peter Collignon, director of the Infectious Diseases Unit and Microbiology Department at The Canberra Hospital, said the Government’s response to the virus was “inappropriate”, fuelled by fears about its spread that were out of proportion to the real threat posed by the disease.

“Overall, swine flu has been associated with fewer deaths than seasonal influenza and is of low virulence,” he wrote.

Professor Collignon said the risk of side effects from the vaccine was greater than any potential benefit for 50 per cent of the Australian population, who were likely already immune because of pre-existing immunity or recent infection.

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