Following last week's report about the rotavirus outbreak in Haifa, doctors have begun calling on the Health Ministry to include the recently developed vaccination against the illness in the basket of childhood immunizations, reports Yediot Haifa. The vaccine has been approved by the Health Ministry and can currently be purchased from the health funds for NIS 450 to 500. Last week, the newspaper reported that Haifa's hospitals are being flooded with young children suffering from the severe vomiting and diarrhea and consequent dehydration caused by rotavirus. The highly infectious virus tends to strike children aged less than five in particular, and many require intravenous fluids to prevent dangerously severe dehydration. In Israel, some 3,800 children are hospitalized each year because of the illness. According to the report, the vaccine, which is given in two stages, has been tested on 60,000 babies in other countries, and prevented 90 percent of them from developing the illness after just one dose and 96% after both doses. Several health fund managers said the funds were all working to have the vaccine included in the basket of childhood immunizations, as it would prevent thousands of hospitalizations of babies and young children. No response was reported from the Health Ministry.