First A/H1N1 vaccinations arrive in Israel
The first A/H1N1 vaccinations have arrived in Israel and 350,000 doses are expected to be here by the end of this week, local daily Ha'aretz reported Monday.
The vaccinations, produced by Swiss company Novartis, were flown in on Sunday. They are expected to pass inspection and be distributed to the health maintenance organizations and hospitals over the next two weeks, Xinhua reported.
The team advising Israeli Health Ministry on handling epidemics decided last week that the first vaccinations would be administered to medical staff and to chronically ill patients between the ages of 10 to 65, said the report.
Chronically ill patients between the ages of 3 and 9 will receive two inoculations, it said, adding that the team has not yet decided whether to inoculate pregnant women and children under age 3.
Israel is expecting to receive 1.75 million vaccinations by the end of this year, said Ha'aretz, adding that the vaccinations will be provided by three foreign companies contracted by Israeli Health Ministry, including Novartis.
On Tuesday, Israel announced its latest fatal case related to the A/H1N1 virus, bringing the total number of death toll claimed by the global pandemic in the country to 32.
Some 3,000 A/H1N1 cases have so far been confirmed across the nation with a population of about 7 million, and most of them have recovered.
Local health experts have warned that about one quarter of the total Israeli population would contract the virus during a possible outbreak this winter, among whom around 700 would die.