Fifth of Norwegians fear vaccination side effects

NTB/The Local
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Fifth of Norwegians fear vaccination side effects
A child is given the TBE vaccine at Apotek Hjärtat in Sweden. Photo: Apotek Hjärtat

Nearly one in five Norwegians believe vaccinating their children could cause serious side effects, a survey carried out for Norway’s VG newspaper has revealed.


In the survey, carried out by InFact, 18.1 percent of respondents said they believed vaccinations could lead to severe side effects. 
As many as 20.5 percent of 45 to 65-year-olds believed vaccination could cause damage to children. 
Bent Hoie, Norway’s Health Minister, told VG he was concerned by the survey's results. 
“I’m worried if scepticism about vaccines is becoming stronger in Norway,” he said. “I’m surprised that people refuse vaccination on the basis of anecdote and hearsay, and do not have more trust in the recommendations from health authorities.” 
Britt Wolden, director of the vaccine department at Institute of Public health (FHI), warned parents who refuse to vaccinate their children that they risk exposing them to much higher risks. 
“The diseases we are vaccinating against are far more dangerous than the side effects of the vaccines,” she said. “Most people who get side effects are only affected mildly and for a short time. Serious events are rare.”
Since the beginning of last year, 22,000 cases of measles in seven European countries have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO), in an outbreak that has been blamed on the growing number of parents refusing to vaccinate their children. 
A debate is raging in Germany over whether to introduce compulsory vaccinations after a toddler died after being infected with measles at a German school. 


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