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Homeopaths criticise swine flu vaccinations

On National Vaccination Day and as Switzerland braces itself for a swine flu outbreak, the Swiss Association of Homeopathic Physicians has advised against the H1N1 jab.

In a statement of Friday, the homeopaths not only said the flu was by and large harmless but they also raised concerns over the two government-approved vaccines, Pandemrix and Focetria.

Above all the association criticised the use of so-called adjuvants, chemical compounds that increase the human body's immune response, in the vaccines, saying they could lead to dramatic side-effects. The Swiss health authorities have however already said any side-effects, if any, are minor.

The Federal Health Office has recommended inoculating certain risk groups in a first wave – beginning in mid-November – including the chronically-ill, pregnant women and health staff, but stops short of mandatory jabs. After this, the wider public will be invited to be inoculated.

On Thursday health authorities warned the swine flu pandemic was expected to hit Switzerland with full force in the coming days, with confirmed cases of swine flu tripling last week to about 2,000.

In total tens of thousands of people with flu symptoms had consulted a doctor and were believed to have come down with a mild form of the illness. So far 38 people have been admitted to hospital, including six who are still in intensive care. and agencies


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