vaccine shot 88.
(photo credit: )
Of the 7.3 million doses of H1N1 vaccine ordered on the instructions of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is also formally the health minister, 350,000 have already arrived - but only about 90,000 Israelis have been vaccinated, The Jerusalem Post learned on Monday.
Many of the Israelis who have been vaccinated so far are healthcare workers who were urged to do so by Health Ministry director-general Dr. Eitan Hai-Am - the first person in the country to be vaccinated against H1N1 flu at Netanyahu's press conference a month ago. There, Netanyahu said it was a "civic duty" for all residents to be vaccinated against H1N1 flu, which has according to official records been involved in the deaths of 50 Israelis (although the ministry said the link cannot be proven, as most of the victims also suffered from serious chronic diseases).
So far, 1.04 million Israelis have been vaccinated against ordinary seasonal flu, which kills many more people - mostly the elderly, immune compromised and chronically ill - than H1N1 flu. Those vaccinated constitute 14 percent of the population and 54% of those over the age of 65. All vaccination is voluntary.
Meanwhile, the ministry announced that a 57-year-old woman who was vaccinated against H1N1 flu two weeks ago died Monday of a respiratory infection at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba. While she is the third person to have died shortly after receiving the vaccine, the ministry declared that there was no connection between the vaccination and the respiratory infection that caused her death. The vaccine is made from a killed - and not an attenuated - virus and cannot cause infection, the ministry said.
The vaccination can cause no more than minor temporary side effects like local pain, redness and fever, the ministry assured.
So far, over 65 million people around the world have received the H1N1 vaccine, the ministry said, and "no unusual side effects" have been reported.