One in three American parents say they would rather their children take their chances with the swine flu than take the new vaccine now being distributed nationwide, a ne Associated Press-GfK poll reveals.
Many parents said they fear the side-effects of the new vaccine, although tests have not revealed anything to justify those fears. Others said they are not convinced that the H1N1 virus poses any greater risk than a regular seasonal flu.
According to the poll, 38 percent of parents said they were unlikely to give permission for their kids to be vaccinated at school, AP reports. Federal officials note, however, that they have incorporated an unprecedented system of monitoring for side-effects. No negative side-effects have turned up in tests on volunteers, including children, officials say, according to AP.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, "We know it's safe and secure."
The AP poll, conducted Oct. 1-5, found 72 percent of those surveyed are worried about side-effects, although more than half say that wouldn't stop them from getting the vaccine to protect their kids from the new flu.
Special swine flu vaccination clinics at schools are being planned in many states, AP reports. Children are the main spreaders of infectious disease, and if large numbers are coming down with swine flu, there are ripple effects for everyone else.
The AP poll found 59 percent are likely to let their kids be vaccinated at school. But the kind of concerns voiced by parents could put a dent in public health efforts.