Is Litzman To Blame? Fewer Israelis Are Getting Flu Vaccines – Measles Continues To Spread

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Last month, Israel’s Health Ministry declared a war on measles, increasing efforts to have as many children vaccinated as possible. Conversely, in contrast to the increase in measles immunizations there is a decrease in the number of people vaccinated for influenza. Although the disease is milder and generally less significant, in severe cases it can be fatal.

Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman supports legislation to ban children from daycare center and kindergartens if they are not immunized against measles. Despite his noble statements, some feel he must be held accountable for the situation and he should submit his resignation.

According to Ministry of Health data, as of the beginning of November, only 10% of all Israeli citizens vaccinated against influenza, compared to 12.7% last year and 14% two years ago.

According to the Ministry, at-risk populations (adults, infants, and those with weak immune systems) were vaccinated this year at lower rates: among adults aged 65 and over, 37.4% were vaccinated this year, while the rate of immunization last year was 45.1% and 48% two years ago. Among infants aged 6-23 months, this year 7.1% were vaccinated up to the beginning of November, compared with 10.1% in the corresponding period last year and 11.8% two years ago.

Among toddlers aged two to five, the rate of immunization stands at 7.5% this year, compared with 11.5% last year and 13.9% two years ago. Even among chronically ill patients under the age of 65 who are at increased risk, there was a very significant decline this year, and the rate of immunization in this population stands at 18.4% as of the beginning of November, compared with 26% last year and 26.5% two years ago.

Last year, 78 people died from flu in Israel and the previous year, 2016, there were 54 recorded deaths. The annual average since the beginning of the decade is 40 patients a year. The peak of the disease in Israel was in 2010, when the illness and its complications claimed 98 lives.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


10 COMMENTS

  1. The insanity of putting a Rav and political hack in charge of public health, rather than a public health professional, is symptomatic of the political chaos in EY. He can say all the right words (written by his Staff) but unless he has the professional gravitas to impose solutions, it will sound like more political hype from politicians. For the moment, an emergency declaration keeping vaccinated children out of schools is critically needed. Let the lawyer argue the merits in court but forceful action is needed now.

  2. The case for the flu vaccines is weaker since the vaccine is not all that effective, in part since “flu” is really many distinct varieties and much guess work goes into picking the “flu of the year” for each year’s vaccine.

  3. Kotonhadorah: Litzman is highly popular due to the many improvements he achieved in healthcare. Few if any politicians in Israel are experts in their field.

  4. DavidtheKanoi
    November 20, 2018 10:09 am at 10:09 am
    Kotonhadorah: Litzman is highly popular due to the many improvements he achieved in healthcare. Few if any politicians in Israel are experts in their field.
    —————————
    The only israeli experts in thier fields are the kanoim ie:
    Peleg ,mea shearim’niks, sikrikim, neturei karta’niks, bachurei ponoviz’niks etc.

  5. I’m at a loss to see any evidence in this article that Rav Litzman has done anything to warrant criticism. It seems to be saying:
    There is a public health problem.
    Rav Litzman is responsible for public health.
    Therefore Rav Litzman should resign.
    Is there something specific that he has done, or failed to have done? If there is, the story should specify it.

  6. It’s motzei shem ra to blame Isrealis’ lack of immunization on Litzman. Nobody thinks of the Health Minister when the time comes to immunize their kids. It is the responsibility of the doctor and nurses to remind parents to immunize their kids and the bottom line is that it’s the parents’ responsibility to be on top of their childrens health upkeep.

  7. You are blaming someone who is very pro-vaccination and publicly took the flu shots in an effort to encourage them being taken, without giving a simple example of what he did to discourage immunizations for the for the fact(?) that about five percent less of Israelis got them this year than two years ago?

    Even by online standards, this accusation is ridiculous.

  8. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES FOR QUOTING “SOME FEEL” THAT IT IS LITZMAN’S FAULT. WHO ARE THE SOME? PERHAPS FROM ANOTHER PARTY? NON-RELIGIOUS? AND HOW IS IT LITZMAN’S FAULT? HE SHOULD FORCE EVERYONE? HE SHOULD WALK AROUND INOCULATING PEOPLE? JUST KEEP WRITING YOUR LOSHON HORA AND ALLOW OTHER PEOPLE TO SPEW THEIR VENOM. IT IS WORSE THAN THE FLU OR MEASLES!!!

  9. Hes a lame duck but quacks hete and there to make some noise.
    Resighn now, so that someone with knowledge in medicine can take over.
    We dont nerd a politition running the health dept. Those 2 simply dont mix but litzman in his infinite wisdom(not) thinks they do