Hospital beds 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Although reminder postcards have not all been mailed yet, the four public health
funds are now ready to give all their members from age six months and up the
annual vaccination against influenza.
Adopting epidemiological policies
in advanced health systems abroad, the Health Ministry has for the first year
recommended the shot for everyone and not only for the elderly, people of all
ages with chronic diseases, pregnant women and patients with weak immune
Although never before have more than half of the highrisk
population gone to their health funds for the free shot, the ministry hopes that
others will go voluntarily for protection, as it is medically and economically
wise. Children in kindergarten who are unvaccinated can easily infect other
children, and they can infect their parents and grandparents, who are likely to
be at higher risk of complications. In addition, vital workers who do not
get sick save the economy much money.
Minimizing the flu much reduces the
crowding on hospital internal medicine and pediatric departments, which are
overburdened as it is.
Maccabi was the first to announce its flu
vaccination campaign on Sunday. The second- largest health fund said it
recommended early vaccination, as the head start gives the body time to produce
immunity against the virus before it arrives in large numbers. Unusually,
the same flu strains that attached last year were identified in the Far East and
included in this year’s vaccine.
Maccabi purchased 300,000 units of the
vaccine, a 10 percent increase over the amount of shots given by the health fund
last year. There is no need to make an appointment with the nurses at
clinics, it said.