The Ministry of Health announced yesterday that influenza vaccines had reached Israel and the HMOs – and called on the public to get vaccinated. According to the ministry, in the winter of 2021 – 2022, Israel is expected to deal with a parallel illness of corona and seasonal flu. However, the ministry stresses that the severity of influenza morbidity can not be expected this winter.
In a statement, they wrote: “The Ministry of Health and the health system recommend getting vaccinated against the flu virus. The flu virus can cause serious illness – pneumonia, other respiratory complications and even death. Influenza vaccinations are the best solution to protect the population from the disease.”
We also noted in the announcement that “the effect may also be severe in people without background illnesses, so the recommendation is to vaccinate the entire population from the age of six months and up, with the first priority and priority groups being risk groups, such as people with chronic illnesses, 50 years and older, pregnant women and children Up to age 5 “.
According to published data, 4 million vaccine doses were ordered in Israel this year, allowing coverage of about 44% of the population. Influenza vaccines are available in the HMOs and are provided by each HMO to its insured until stocks run out. Another emphasis is that there is no impediment to getting vaccinated against the flu and corona at the same time.
In the current summer months there has been an abnormal and unexpected increase in respiratory infections typical of the winter months, with a significant load on clinics, emergency rooms and inpatient wards, similar to what occurs in the winter months. This phenomenon is not unique to Israel, and it has also been reported worldwide.
According to Dr. Batsheva Gottesman, an infectious disease specialist and infectious disease consultant at Clalit Health Services, “We are entering the winter period in the midst of a fourth wave under the much more contagious delta variant, the daily verified number is high, the economy is operating, the education system has opened and the tourism industry is back in business. – All of these are reasonable conditions for the spread of influenza in Israel and around the world.
“Given this situation, the recommendation is to be vaccinated against influenza to prevent cross.morbidity of influenza and corona, and also to prevent burdens on the health system.”