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Some health workers in Switzerland are refusing to get vaccinated against current influenza strains and are hesitant to offer the vaccine to patients. A study led by Geneva's teaching hospitals last year showed that many health care personnel thought of seasonal flu as "a benign disease not really requiring any special [prevention] effort." A Swiss-German gynecologist explained to Swissinfo.ch that he refuses to vaccinate pregnant women against the flu, as ordered by the Federal Office of Public Health, “because we cannot rule out the risk of resulting fetal abnormalities”.
Pascal Büchler, a homeopathic physician in Yverdon-les-Bains, says that, "...vaccines against seasonal flu have been shown to be ineffective for elderly people, who are also the greatest risk group." Büchler not only questions the vaccine’s effectiveness but also the "alarming" campaign brought by the Federal Office of Public Health. He refers to a large-scale epidemiological study carried out by American researcher Tom Jefferson. The study concluded that only five to seven per cent of people displaying flu-like symptoms were actually infected with the virus. "If we transfer these figures to Switzerland, 75 people would be the accurate figure for deaths caused by influenza, and not 1,500 as the Office for Public Health would have us believe," Büchler says.
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