Delay in delivery of flu vaccines, to arrive in Israel in November

Due to fears the virus may start early this year, experts recommend getting vaccinated as soon as the vaccines arrive.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
August 20, 2019 09:17
1 minute read.
Delay in delivery of flu vaccines, to arrive in Israel in November

Doctor giving a vaccine to a patient (illustrative). (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

A global hold-up will cause a delay in the arrival of flu vaccines to Israel this year, Israel Hayom reported. Flu vaccines are usually distributed from September in most years.

However, due to a delay from the World Health Organization [WHO] deciding which strains of flu to use, the vaccines will only arrive in Israel in November.

The nasal flu spray, FluMist will not be available at all this year in Israel, manufacturer AstraZeneca reported to the Ministry of Health. This is due to a significant delay in production.

In light of the late arrival of the vaccines, along with the prediction by health experts that the flu season may start earlier than usual this year, experts recommend getting vaccinated as soon as the vaccines arrive.

The vaccine will protect against four strains of flu decided by the WHO. Previous years have included only three strains of the virus.

Israeli health funds have already announced their purchases for the vaccines. Clalit purchased 1.1 million vaccine doses this year, Maccabi purchased 450,000 vaccine doses, Meuhedet purchased 250,000 vaccines, and Leumit have purchased 115,000 vaccines. Flu vaccines are also expected to be given to second and third graders in schools within the framework of student health services.

Professor Shai Ashkenazi, chairman of the Association of Pediatrics and a specialist in infectious diseases told Israel Hayom, "According to the forecast, influenza may begin early this year, and until vaccination begins, it will take time, especially for children who need to be vaccinated in two doses. In Australia you can see that it is earlier by about a month. Efforts should be made to vaccinate early and the health systems should look to inoculate as early as possible, for example in schools and funds."




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