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Knesset Probes Poor Response to Flu Shot Campaign

Deputy Health Minister Litzman set a personal example Monday and received a flu shot, while the Knesset asked why the public isn't doing the same.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 11/29/2010, 8:50 PM / Last Update: 11/29/2010, 10:11 PM

Flash 90

Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman rolled up his sleeve for the cameras to set a personal example Monday as he publicly received a flu vaccination.

The minister got his annual flu shot as the Knesset Committee on Children's Rights held a hearing to find out why more than 90 percent of Israel's children have not done the same.

Some three weeks ago, the Health Ministry warned the public of the risk of contagion, complications and even possible deaths that could result from the low rate of immunizations, especially among the high-risk population that includes children ages five and under.

United Torah Judaism Knesset Member Uri Maklev, who asked for the urgent hearing, noted that on one hand, much of the public does not realize how safe the vaccination is. Moreover, he said, many people do not have faith in the system.

On the other hand, he said, those who are interested in receiving a vaccination may not be aware of how easy it is to get one.

Maklev called on the ministry to make an effort to increase this awareness among the public and encourage citizens to be immunized. The MK suggested that an example could be set by the ministry workers themselves: despite the fact that flu shots are mandated for Health Ministry workers, Maklev noted that most do not comply with the rule.