After cases of whooping cough in Israel doubled in the past three months, the Health Ministry recently issued new guidelines for Kupot Cholim and hospitals, stressing the need to urge vaccination among infants and pregnant women.
According to data published by the ministry, there were 615 cases of whooping cough in Israel from January to July 2023, compared to only 18 cases in the same period last year.
Kan News reported that the Health Ministry is recommending that every person over the age of 18 receive at least one dose of the pertussis vaccine.
The Health Ministry’s message to the Kupot Cholim stated: “Pregnant women should be encouraged to vaccinate against whooping cough between weeks 27-36 of their pregnancy. The administration of the whooping cough vaccine during pregnancy has been common for about a decade, both in Israel and worldwide. The vaccine is safe and protects the infant from life-threatening infections until they can be vaccinated themselves. In addition, vaccination of children against the disease should be encouraged at all ages, according to vaccination guidelines.”
“Since September 2022, there has been an increase in whooping cough incidence worldwide. In recent months, outbreaks have been reported in Canada, Denmark, the Philippines, Malaysia, South Africa and Bolivia, each with hundreds of cases. Countries with lower incidence include the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.”
“In Israel, cases of whooping cough tend to rise and fall, with an increase in incidence every four-five years. In recent months, we have seen such an increase in incidence rates and hospitalizations due to whooping cough. Most of the reported cases originate from the Jerusalem area, but cases have been reported throughout the country. Morbidity is highest in areas with dense populations and low vaccination rates. The most significant morbidity and most hospitalizations occur among infants under six months old who aren’t fully vaccinated.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)