Top Health Ministry brass receive flu vaccine

Since seasonal influenza is expected to reach exceptionally high levels this year, a number of top Health Ministry officials received the flu vaccine publicly in order to encourage others to do so.

Health Ministry D-G Nachman Ash receiving a flu vaccine on October 17, 2021 (photo credit: HEALTH MINISTRY)
Health Ministry D-G Nachman Ash receiving a flu vaccine on October 17, 2021
(photo credit: HEALTH MINISTRY)

Senior Health Ministry officials received flu shots on Sunday, in order to encourage Israelis to get the jab.

The officials included Health Ministry D-G Professor Nachman Ash, Head of Health Service Dr. Sharon Elroi-Preiss, Head of Medical Division Dr. Vered Ezra and others.

"I am calling on the public also to get a flu vaccine for your health," Ash said. "The vaccines against the flu are the best way to protect the public from the virus," he said.

Seasonal influenza is expected to reach exceptionally high levels this year, according to health officials. 

The virus is expected to arrive as early as November, posing a risk to the country’s health system which is still carrying the burden of hundreds of severely ill COVID-19 patients.

 Head of Health Services Dr. Sharon Elroi-Preiss receives her flu vaccine on October 17, 2021 (credit: HEALTH MINISTRY) Head of Health Services Dr. Sharon Elroi-Preiss receives her flu vaccine on October 17, 2021 (credit: HEALTH MINISTRY)

Flu is one of the most common and highly infectious winter viruses. Similar to coronavirus, it is transmitted from person to person mainly by droplets exhaled when people cough, sneeze or even talk.

Low turnout for the flu vaccine could even lead to a spike in influenza and once again threaten to overwhelm Israel’s hospitals, health officials said last week.

“There is a real concern about the decline in the rate of people vaccinating for both flu and coronavirus,” Dr. Ehud Drucker, deputy of the Emergency Medicine Department at Samson Assuta Ashdod Hospital, said on Wednesday. “A combination of both viruses doubles the chances of serious illness and mortality, alongside a return to impossible workloads in the country’s hospitals. Flu and corona could be a catastrophe.”