Ministry wants flu shots for everyone over 6 months

Until now, only high-risk groups of the chronically ill, those over the age of 65 and pregnant women were urged to get vaccinated.

By
September 14, 2011 05:59
1 minute read.
The Jerusalem Post

flu vaccine 248.88. (photo credit: Bloomberg)

 
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Starting this fall, the Health Ministry will recommend that everyone from the age of six months receive an influenza shot.

Until now, only high-risk groups of the chronically ill, those over the age of 65 and pregnant women were urged to get vaccinated. Now it will be limited only by the number of vaccines available to the four health funds for supply to their members.

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In the past, even in years when severe outbreaks of the flu caused deaths, no more than a half of the public went for vaccinations, starting in the autumn, usually after the High Holy Days.

Unusually, the recommended strains for inclusion in the new season’s vaccine will be identical to that last year. Annually, the World Health Organization announces the recommended vaccine according to the strains of flu that were found in the Far East, where the infectious disease first strikes. But this year, “A/California,” “A/Perth” and “B/Brisbane” strains were discovered.

As a result, the ministry’s epidemiology department said children aged six months to eight years who received one vaccination last winter can be covered with one shot and do not need two. But everyone else needs to be revaccinated this year even if they received a shot last year.

In addition, the instruction not to give the flu vaccine to people who are at risk of anaphylactic shock due to allergy to egg whites, on which the vaccine is cultured, has been cancelled, due to the accumulation of experience that such a reaction is extremely rare and has been shown not to be caused by the egg white in the vaccine.

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