Italian family physicians refuse to prescribe the A/H1N1 vaccine for their patients, claiming that the risks of the vaccine outweigh its benefits.
Latest figures revealed that swine flu has infected more than 540,000 individuals, claiming the lives of 30 in Italy.
The country has ordered some 48 million doses of the A/H1N1 vaccine, enough to immunize 24 million of its population, and plans to start a mass vaccination program in the coming weeks.
Italian media outlets have, however, claimed that many of these vaccines would be useless as the majority of Italians including the Deputy Health Minister Ferruccio Fazio and the Mayor of Rome Gianni Alemanno have decided against vaccination.
According to a recent survey conducted, six out of every ten Italian family physicians do not prescribe the A/H1N1 vaccine for their patients particularly those with heart diseases.
A member of the European Association for Quality in General Medicine(EQUIP), Gianluigi Passerini told L’espresso that he would not advise vaccination for his patients, adding, “This virus is not aggressive and there is no reason to force individuals to get immunized against the virus.”
Mario Nejrotti, the director of torinomedica.com, similarly, stressed that healthcare workers should only be urged to get vaccinated based on the severity and spread of the virus.
He added that a similar vaccine manufactured in the US in 1976 had contributed to a considerable number of cases with a severe neurological disease known as Guillain-Barré syndrome.