In a study that polled 2,255 Hong Kong health workers this year, researchers found even during the height of global swine flu panic in May, less than half were willing to get vaccinated.
Most said they would pass on the swine flu shot, which is not yet available, because they were afraid of side effects and doubted how safe and effective it would be.
Doctors and nurses are on the swine flu front lines — and if they become infected, they may not only spread the disease to patients, but their absence from work could cripple health systems.
Health workers aren’t much better informed than the public:
So far, officials say that among the few thousand people who got the injections no one has reported anything more serious than a sore or swollen arm.
It is unlikely any rare side effects will pop up until the vaccine is given to millions. That might include things like Guillain-Barre syndrome, a temporary paralyzing disorder, which was seen after the 1976 swine flu vaccination campaign, and happens fewer than once every 1 million vaccinations.