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Swine flu vaccine safe, says WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) restated its confidence in the H1N1 flu vaccine on Tuesday, calling it the most important tool against the pandemic.

world Updated: Oct 07, 2009 00:11 IST

The World Health Organisation (WHO) restated its confidence in the H1N1 flu vaccine on Tuesday, calling it the most important tool against the pandemic.

Mild adverse side effects such as muscle cramps or headache are to be expected in some cases, but everyone who has access to the vaccine should be inoculated, it said.

Mass vaccination campaigns against the flu virus are underway in China and Australia and will be starting soon in the US and parts of Europe, WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said.

“It is important to remember that the vaccines, which have already been approved, have been used for years... and have been shown to be among the safest vaccines that exist,” he told a news briefing.

Hartl, asked whether WHO was concerned by reports that some people were reluctant to be injected with the new vaccine, said: “Certainly we have seen the reports. Again, we would restate that the most important tool that we have to fight this pandemic is the vaccine.” It was doubly important that health care workers be vaccinated, as it protects them as well as patients, he added.