Ministry of Health: Weekly review of the influenza virus in Israel

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 Ministry of Health: Israeli Weekly Update on Influenza Virus

To date, 13.2% of all insured health insurance funds have been vaccinated against the flu.

49.8% of people aged 65 and over have been vaccinated against the virus.< br />
There has been a 30% increase in the number of people who tested positive for influenza in the last week.

According to data from the National Center for Disease Control under the Ministry of Health, as of Monday (11/21/22), 13.2% of all insured Israeli health insurance companies were vaccinated, which is 2% more than last week.
< br /> As of Monday (11/21/22) the percentage of vaccinated among all insured in different age groups:

  • 65 years and older – 49.8%
  • 55-64 years – 20 ,8%
  • 5-12 years – 8.4%

According to the data, from the beginning of October 2022 to Saturday (11/19/22), 340 hospitalized with laboratory confirmation of influenza were registered, of which 116 were hospitalized in the last week. This is a 30% increase in the number of hospitalized patients diagnosed with influenza compared to last week.

The Ministry of Health urges the public to get vaccinated against influenza, especially men and women aged 65 and over, as well as people from risk groups. The ministry reminds that influenza can be prevented by vaccination, provided that the vaccine is given at least two weeks before infection. The vaccine is recommended from 6 months of age and older.

Most of the influenza viruses identified so far in Israel are type A and a minority are type B. In the central laboratory of viruses, patients with type A influenza had two subtypes have been identified: subtype A/H1 and subtype A/H3. The influenza vaccine administered in Israel includes these two subtypes of influenza A and two lines of influenza B.

The influenza virus can cause serious complications such as pneumonia and other respiratory complications, inflammation of the heart muscle, and even death.

The vaccine prevents infection, as well as complications such as pneumonia, hospitalization, and death. Vaccination is recommended every year, as the strain changes and each year a new virus appears, slightly different from what was in the previous year. This year's (and every year's) vaccine is produced based on a WHO forecast that determines expected strains for that year.

It is important to get vaccinated even if the strains included in this year's vaccine are the same as those that were in last year's vaccine. Antibody levels against constituent strains begin to decline about six months after vaccination, with some variation depending on the vaccine and age group. In all tested groups, after a year, the level of antibodies does not provide maximum protection.

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