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An immunization campaign to halt the growing number of measles cases in the haredi community has been launched by the Health Ministry in Kiryat Sefer (Modi'in Illit).
Three new cases have been diagnosed in the town, following dozens of cases in Jerusalem.
Family health (tipat halav) centers will offer injections free to all children aged one to five who have not been vaccinated before and to those aged eight to 20 who have not received two measles shots. Children aged six and seven get their shots in school. The free immunizations are for members of all health funds.
Measles is very infectious and can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia and meningitis that may even be fatal. It is caused by a virus easily transmitted by droplets in the air. Symptoms include high fever, eye infections, cough, rash and feeling sick.
A few months ago a measles outbreak began in Jerusalem when an infected tourist from London came to attend a haredi wedding where there were 2,000 guests.
The ministry is targeting haredi families as they are much less likely to get vaccinations, though no specific steps have been taken to contact those who attended the wedding or heads of the hassidic community that was affected.
The ministry is now offering separate reception hours for fathers and mothers who bring their children.