“The impact of the year may be particularly severe”

The current school year has opened to the sounds of jarring chords: in the testing centers huge queues and unusual loads are reported; About 100,000 children were placed in solitary confinement along with many families who this year too were forced to spend the holiday within the walls of the pavilion and in the education system once again have to deal with entire classes converging on learning to zoom.

With the center of attention focused on Corona, it’s no wonder we’ve already forgotten that this is exactly the season when we’re starting to talk about the flu. So although last year the morbidity in the known virus was very minimal, but is this the forecast for the current year as well?

“If there is one positive thing to be said for the corona period, it is that the isolation measures we used helped to minimize the incidence of influenza,” explains Dr. Anar Otolangi, a doctoral student in immunology at Ben-Gurion and a member of the Mada’at organization. Of influenza and the percentage of hospitalizations was minimal. Among other things, this can be attributed to the fact that more masks were used, flights were significantly reduced and people were less crowded. ”

However, as is well known, since vaccines came into the picture, the borders have begun to open and so has the use of masking masks. All of these may, he says, bring the influence back to the center of the stage. “I guess it will have actual consequences. Like corona, the flu is a droplet-transmitted virus, so a mild cough is enough to transmit the virus between people. The worse the isolation measures, the more we can control it.”

Dr Otolangi notes that unlike previous years where it was simpler to decide on the recommended vaccine, depending on the incidence occurring in the Western Hemisphere, this year scientists are facing a problem that may have little effect on its effectiveness. It can be seen that this year, too, there is a fairly limited morbidity with the flu, and it is likely that these are once again the means of distance intended to reduce morbidity in the corona. On the one hand, this is encouraging news, but on the other hand, it affects to some extent the ability to understand what the controlling strains are and, accordingly, to adjust the relevant vaccine. ”

The flu vaccine campaign in Israel will begin this month

Dr. Otolengi estimates that since this year we will not be able to enjoy the same benefits of remoteness that we enjoyed last year, it is likely that we will see flu, perhaps even more severe. – A virus is very common in children and there may be a hint of it coming. I fear there is a chance that we will also see an increase in the incidence of flu cases. Unfortunately, this is probably going to be a complex vaccination operation, because people are already tired of the corona vaccines, but I very much hope that despite this there will be a response. “It is important to clarify that even if the vaccines are not perfect in their composition, and even if they do not completely prevent disease, they are still likely to prevent serious illness and therefore it is very important to approach vaccination, especially when it is an elderly or immunocompromised population.”

“One of the concerns in the health care system is that for more than a year we have not been exposed to the flu virus, which naturally spreads in our area every year. This has implications for the general level of immunity in the population. “Yoav Elkan, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist at Clalit Health Fund, Sharon District.” Therefore, it is even more important to be vaccinated against the disease as soon as the vaccination campaign begins. ”

However, Dr. Elkan points out that this is just one possible scenario out of a number of possible scenarios: Either way, it is important to understand that despite the many efforts that are being made to find the ideal vaccine, we have no way of ensuring disease prevention and there is no ideal solution. Therefore, along with the importance of immunization, it is important to continue to exercise personal and social responsibility: not to send a sick child to kindergarten, to maintain good hand hygiene and to continue using the mask. “I hope all of these will help us reduce the chance of a serious flu flu, which could spread to Corona and cause significant hospital congestion.”

“We are entering the winter period in the midst of a fourth wave in the shadow of the Delta variant, which is much more contagious. “In view of this situation, it is recommended to be vaccinated against influenza in order to prevent cross-morbidity of influenza and corona and also to avoid burdens on the health system.”
Dr. Gottesman notes that the Israeli Ministry of Health, as well as the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) approve of giving the flu vaccine along with the Corona vaccine at the same time (“preferably in two separate limbs”), and there is no need to wait any time between Both vaccines.

3.8 million vaccine doses

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health reports that this year a total of 3.8 million doses of influenza vaccine of various types were purchased from various companies. The arrival of the vaccines is expected towards the end of September and the beginning of October 2021.

Meanwhile, the HMOs have already begun preparing for the vaccination campaign: Clalit reports the purchase of 1.3 million flu vaccines; In Meuhedet, 350,000 flu vaccines have been purchased, among them, an increased vaccine that includes 4 strains, which is currently intended for the elderly population and other at-risk populations, such as chronic patients and pregnant women.

Leumit reports the purchase of 150,000 vaccine doses in addition to another 5,000 flu vaccines in nasal spray intended primarily for children.

While Maccabi purchased 700,000 flu vaccines. The fund states that the purchase of vaccines is based on the volume of vaccinations in previous years and in the calculation of the supplement in accordance with the estimated expectations of the demand and the level of morbidity.

By Editor