Arab families are more likely than their Jewish counterparts to take their
infants for vaccinations, according to the Health Ministry, which stated on
Thursday that 98.5 percent of Arab babies were protected compared to 93.5% of
In a statement marking the International Week for
Encouraging Vaccinations, the ministry said two new shots added to the
vaccination schedule between 2009 and 2011 had saved lives and money. The
vaccinations were Prevnar, against pneumococcus infections, and a shot against
As a result of their addition, the number of invasive
infections caused by pneumococcus bacteria has declined by 70%, the ministry
said, adding that the vaccination had also caused a significant decline in the
number of children being taken to emergency rooms with pneumonia.
benefit, according to the ministry, has been a decline in the number of young
children suffering from serious ear infections. The introduction of Prevnar has
also reduced the number of infections caused by bacteria resistant to
Adults have benefited as well, the ministry noted, as the
amount of infection by pneumococcal infections spread by babies and young
children has also dropped.
The rotavirus vaccine, added in 2010, has
reduced gastrointestinal illness in children during the winter months. Last
winter, such illness declined by 60% in children up to the age of two, and the
number of health-fund clinic visits by children aged two to four dropped by 48%,
the ministry noted.
This year, a shot against the human papilloma virus
was added for girls in the eighth grade. The sexually transmitted HPV is liable
to develop into cervical cancer a number of years after infection. As such, the
shot, given in schools around the country, is expected to cut the prevalence of
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