Daily Israel Report

Health Ministry: Over 6 Months Old? Go Get a Flu Shot

It's that time of year again; the Health Ministry has issued a recommendation that everyone over 6 months old should get a flu shot.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 9/14/2011, 1:24 PM

It's that time of year again. School has started, and so have the flurry of recommendations by the Health Ministry ahead of the fall and winter seasons.

Among them is a new advisory urging the Israeli public to inoculate every member of the family over six months old with the influenza vaccine.

The flu shots are usually made available right after the High Holy Days. This year's strains to be covered by the inoculation are Types A(H1N1), A(H3N2) and Type B, all of which were discovered in Australia.

In the past, people with an allergy to eggs have been exempt from receiving the shot because the vaccine is cultured on egg whites. 

This year, however, doctors have been told that allergic reactions to the vaccine are so rare, and the disease so serious, that it is more important to get the shot than it is to worry about the possible risk of someone going into anaphylactic shock. "Flu can kill," warned Arad's Leumit health maintenance organization clinic director Dr. Yuval Rabinovich. He told Arutz Sheva in a telephone interview, "It's important to get the shot, even though the disease is not always so serious for everyone."

According to the World Health Organization's FluNet database, the number of cases of influenza virus in the third week of August continued to decrease in most parts of the southern hemisphere, and were low in the northern hemisphere as well.

In the United States, four cases of swine flu (H1N1) have been reported in children in Indiana and Pennsylvania. Earlier this year, it was feared that Labor MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who was hospitalized with secondary pneumonia, had contracted the disease.

In Australia, a cluster of 25 cases of influenza A(H1N1)2009 was detected, along with cases of Type B viruses. In the temperate region of Africa and in Cuba, the A(H3N2) virus was found as well.

A total of 1,008 positive cases of influenza were reported from a total of 68 countries worldwide, with 73 percent of those typed as influenza A and 27 percent typed as influenza B.