Swine Flu Vaccine On the Way

The first shipment of inoculations against swine flu are due to arrive in Israel in the next few days.

David Lev , | updated: 11:09

swine flu patient
swine flu patient
Israel News Photo

The first shipment of inoculations against swine flu are due to arrive in Israel in the next few days, and the Health Ministry is making its preparations to distribute the vaccines.

Included among the logistics are the issuance of instructions on who may receive the vaccines and where and how they are to be administered. The first inoculations will be reserved for children, the elderly, patients undergoing treatment for diseases that have weakened their immune systems, and medical personnel in hospitals.

By the end of November some 350,000 doses of the vaccine will have arrived in Israel, and more will arrive on a regular basis until by March, according to Ministry officials. By that time, Israel will have purchased nearly two and a half million doses, but officials said the state would consider purchasing as many as 8 million doses, if necessary.

Swine flu fatality rates in Israel are considered high when compared to those in Europe and other Mediterranean countries, but health experts say the cause may be due to the fact that Israel includes on the lists casualties of swine flu patients who also had other diseases as well – so far the vast majority of victims.

Prof. Dan Engelhard , head of the medical team advising the Health Ministry on epidemics, said the percentage "is probably most affected by the way in which every state determines swine flu deaths. In Israel we took up a very general approach, including seriously ill patients who died with swine flu but not necessarily of swine flu."




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