Health funds gearing up to provide flu vaccines to all

The four public health funds are now ready to give all their members from age six months and up the annual vaccination against influenza.

October 3, 2011 00:04
1 minute read.
Empty hospital corridor [illustrative]

Hospital beds 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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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 systems.

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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.

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