Only 1.3% of Israelis have received swine flu vaccination

Only 1.3% of Israelis ha

An 11-year-old girl, and two women aged 25 and 77 - all suffering from serious chronic illnesses - died on Monday after being infected with the H1N1 virus, the Health Ministry said. The first died at Haifa's Rambam Medical Center, the second at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and the third at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. They were the 61st, 62nd and 63rd Israelis listed as victims of the H1N1 flu strain, though none of deaths could be conclusively linked to the virus as there have been no autopsies. Meanwhile, although Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is also health minister, has ordered 7.3 million doses of H1N1 vaccine - enough for every resident except for newborns - the average Israeli does not seem interested in getting the shot. According to the latest figures of the Center for Disease Control, only 1.3 percent of residents - or 96,772 people - have received the H1N1 vaccination about a month after the first 350,000 doses became available. Many of those who were vaccinated work in the health system. Around the world, some 8,200 people have died of swine flu, according to the latest report. The ordinary seasonal flu, which is less infectious than the H1N1 strain but causes more deaths, also does not seem to be scaring the average Israeli. Only 15% of the population - or 1,103,000 people - has been vaccinated since September with seasonal flu shot, with which the health system has much experience. Included in those vaccinated are just 55% of the high-risk group over the age of 65.