83% of those aged 65 and over, including chronic patients, intend to be vaccinated against influenza. This compares with only 50% of pregnant women declaring this intention, and about 60% of parents in relation to their children. These data were published in a survey conducted by the United Health Insurance Fund, among its policyholders in the above risk groups.
The flu vaccination campaign began two weeks ago, and so far, despite the holiday season and despite the clearly unsavory weather, 223,000 people have already been vaccinated at all HMOs.
Despite this, the report of the Center for Disease Control at the Ministry of Health indicates that as of September 2021, very low influenza activity was reported in the southern hemisphere countries and in the world in general.
The flu vaccine is recommended for infants from the age of six months to 12. 60.4% of parents answered that they are sure that they have vaccinated their children, while 17% are sure that we have not vaccinated, and almost a quarter of parents (22%) are still undecided. Among those undecided and those who were not vaccinated, the following reasons were mentioned: fear of side effects (53%), an opinion that the flu is a mild disease that can be passed without a vaccine (68%), 57% stated that they fear the vaccine itself will cause children to catch the flu.
And in the same vein, Pfizer is starting a study on the flu vaccine based on mRNA technology on which the company’s corona vaccine is based.
In the last week, the United States began a Phase 1 trial of the genetic flu vaccine, which will take place among people aged 85-65. Its goal is to assess its safety, tolerance and immunogenicity.
According to Mali Kusha, head nurse and director of the nursing department who led the survey, “Social distance and masks made last year’s flu season almost non-existent in our lives, and the last time there was such a low morbidity rate was in 1988. Unfortunately, flu should return this year. It may also start earlier than usual. There is already a clear increase in upper respiratory viruses, which characterize the winter season. “Again, all of these are favorable conditions for the spread of influenza in Israel and around the world. Therefore, vaccination against influenza will prevent cross-morbidity of Florona – a combination of influenza and corona, and will also reduce the burden on the health system.”
Dr. Doron Dushnitzky, a pediatrician from the National Medical Division: “Like all the funds, we prepared a logistical system for our son AA from the moment the policy was set to carry out the immunization operation. The impression was that also because last year we were in the ‘sick’ year of the flu there would be no onslaught on the vaccines so we opened up the possibility of getting everyone vaccinated. The priority is expressed in the fact that elderly populations and with background diseases and pregnant women have an emphasis on their loose record so that if they are on a routine visit the medical staff sees it and offers them vaccination.
“In the world and in pediatrics there is talk of a ‘twin-blood’ winter – with an epidemic of corona and flu. We will be less with distance and masks, unlike last year there are no closures that prevented meetings and distribution. Add to that the fact that there was a whole year “The immune system recognizes the virus, including two-year-olds who have not received antibodies from the mother. This can cause a non-violent virus to spread further and lead to more severe symptoms. Therefore, it is highly advisable to listen to the advice of medical staff and get vaccinated.”
The Ministry of Health has issued a call to encourage immunization: “In the winter of 2021-2022, Israel is expected to face a similar morbidity of COVID-19 and seasonal flu. The severity of the flu cannot be expected this winter. We recommend getting vaccinated against the flu virus. The flu virus can cause serious illness – Pneumonia, other respiratory complications and even deaths.Giving vaccines against the flu are the best answer to protect the population from the disease.
“The effect can be severe even in people without background illnesses and therefore the recommendation is to vaccinate the entire population from the age of 6 months and up. When first in priority and priorities are risk groups such as people with chronic diseases, aged 50 and over, pregnant women and children up to age 5.”