Survey: Many physicians believe that the fear of swine flu is unfounded and have not noticed an increase in flu vaccinations. Koblenz – March 04, 2011: While the swine flu virus caused rampant vaccination hysteria last year, the topic no longer seems to be a primary focus in German medical offices. Almost three fourth of physicians (72%) have seen nearly the same number of swine flu patients as during last year’s flu season and nearly half of those surveyed (43.2%) never considered the H1N1 virus to be a serious threat. Despite that, most physicians remain cautious: more than one out of two (63.9%) got vaccinated to protect themselves from becoming infected with the virus. That was the result of the monthly survey conducted by the CGMGesundheitsMONITOR.
Survey: Many physicians believe that the fear of swine flu is unfounded and have not noticed an increase in flu vaccinations.
Koblenz – March 04, 2011: While the swine flu virus caused rampant vaccination hysteria last year, the topic no longer seems to be a primary focus in German medical offices. Almost three fourth of physicians (72%) have seen nearly the same number of swine flu patients as during last year’s flu season and nearly half of those surveyed (43.2%) never considered the H1N1 virus to be a serious threat. Despite that, most physicians remain cautious: more than one out of two (63.9%) got vaccinated to protect themselves from becoming infected with the virus. That was the result of the monthly survey conducted by the CGMGesundheitsMONITOR.
No signs of a swine flu epidemic
During the last flu season, the specter of a looming swine flu epidemic, spreading like wildfire and claiming countless victims, was making its rounds through the media and the waiting rooms of German physicians. At this time, the fear seems unfounded. Seven out of ten surveyed physicians (72%) emphasize that they are not seeing more cases of swine flu in their medical offices this year, compared to last year. One fifth of physicians (20%) have not encountered any swine flu patients so far.
Dangerous, but not life-threatening
The hysteria surrounding the flu vaccination was already subject to controversial discussions by experts last year. While some physicians urge special caution for fear of a recurrence of conditions seen with previous flu epidemics, for example the Spanish flu, other physicians considered the fears fueled by sensationalist headlines to be exaggerated. The current survey demonstrates that the opinions remain divided: almost half of the surveyed physicians (43.2%) never considered the swine flu to be a life-threatening risk. Almost one fourth of physicians (23.2%) even believe that the spread of the disease has largely been stemmed in the meantime. However, this opinion is not shared by all colleagues: almost one third of physicians(30%) recommend that we should continue taking the H1N1 virus very seriously.
Continued discussion about the quality of the vaccine
Most people probably also have a vivid recollection of the discussion regarding the suitable vaccine. Apparently, the opinions about the new vaccine are divided as well: nearly one third of physicians (33.9%) assess it as safer and more effective compared to last year’s vaccine, but almost as many physicians (33.2%) are unsure about it at this point and 30.9% consider it to be as good as last year’s vaccine.
No increase in the vaccination rate
The swine flu also doesn’t seem to be a primary topic for the patients - at least, that’s what the vaccination rate suggests. At this time, one out of two physicians (52.7%) has vaccinated approximately the same number of patients against the flu as prior to the “swine flu era”. Almost one third (30.9%) of physicians have not seen an increase in their vaccination rates.
Prevention - also a good approach for the flu
Even though most physicians are relatively calm regarding the swine flu, they still deal with the topic in a thoughtful and professional manner. More than six out of ten physicians (63.9%) would rather err on the side of caution and remain healthy and have gotten preventive flu vaccinations, including protection from the swine flu, this season. Comparably fewer physicians, almost one third of surveyed physicians (32.3%) rely on not contracting the flu and have decided against getting vaccinated.
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The CGM GesundheitsMONITOR:
The CGM GesundheitsMONITOR is a joint initiative of CompuGroup Medical, the Medical Tribune and the Rhein-Zeitung. They perform representative monthly surveys of 440 general practitioners with regard to current issues in the healthcare system. You can download free printable graphs and find publications as well as information about the representative survey at www.cgm-gesundheitsmonitor.de.
About Medical Tribune:
For over 40 years, the Medical Tribune has been one of the most widely read publications for private practice physicians. The popular weekly newspaper offers an attractive mix of medicine, health and professional policies relevant to private practice, and economic issues that apply to the medical profession. In a unique style, the Medical Tribune provides multifaceted continued education, personal advice, and interesting reading material within a newspaper. The Medical Tribune’s success story has been documented by the independent readership review (LA-MED) for decades.
The Rhein-Zeitung area of circulation connects the metropolitan areas Köln-Bonn and the Rhein-Main region. The economically strong region around Koblenz is located in the center. With a circulation of right of 224,000 copies and 17 local issues, the Rhein-Zeitung has approximately 640,000 readers.
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