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The health committee, chaired by MP Idit Silman, met yesterday (Sunday) for a discussion aimed at addressing the function of institutions of Tipat Halav (vaccination center for toddlers). Additionally, they also discussed polio vaccines in light of the outbreak of the disease over the past month.
The Health Ministry does not know how many Israelis have contracted polio when there are believed to be hundreds beyond the few reported cases. Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health launched a national polio vaccination campaign for children under 6, and in the coming days it will be out testing sewer systems to understand the extent of the phenomenon. .
There are officially about ten cases of poliomyelitis in Israel, but a source at the Ministry of Health estimates that: “The figure is much higher and increases by about five to ten percent every day. He said: “Currently the risk is low and does not exist in age groups outside of risk and among those who are vaccinated. He added – “Because most polio patients experience no symptoms, there is no definite relationship. At the moment, the possibility of testing sewage systems is being studied, especially in cities where the polio virus has been discovered, so it will be decided how and to what extent vaccinations will be carried out. »
According to another Education Ministry source, there are fears that Israel will have to deal with the polio outbreak because of opponents of the vaccine. He noted that “the vast majority of parents vaccinate their children against the virus.” However, he points out that “this is a virus that we managed to defeat decades ago and without civic discipline, the situation will only get worse”.
In a hearing last night, Dr Price noted that “there are dozens and possibly hundreds of children carrying the polio virus. Most cases have no symptoms. “Dr. Elrai Price explained that between 10 and 20% of cases have symptoms and the parents have no understanding that it is poliomyelitis. “There is a percentage of them who will be paralyzed. »
The public health chief also noted that the virus has been found in cities other than Jerusalem, where a girl’s case was discovered about a month ago. “To Tiberias, Modi’in Illit, Beit Shemesh and more. The first step was to call all children to come and get vaccinated. There are many data from 2005 to 2013 who simply did not receive all the vaccines and must come and get vaccinated. »
The Ministry of Health also pointed out that it felt difficulties in everything related to the issue of vaccines in the context of the corona crisis and vaccine opponents who have expanded their activities beyond the corona field. “The last two years have created a challenge that everything has become with question marks, even familiar things and given the years we have suddenly been faced with Fake News. There is some increase in refusal of childhood vaccines – it’s not very significant,” Price explained.
The head of the public health headquarters, Ilana Gens, told the hearing that identification is no longer just in Jerusalem but also in Beit Shemesh, Beitar Illit, Modi’in and Maccabim Reut. She added that the State of Israel, along with many countries of the World Health Organization, is a partner in the global polio eradication program and that this requires intensive and regular monitoring and rapid and effective when an indication of the presence of the virus, clinical monitoring and more appears.
“As part of the continuous monitoring of the sewage systems in the Jerusalem area, a poliomyelitis virus was discovered. At the same time, as part of clinical monitoring of cases of paralysis, such as the case of an unvaccinated girl with signs of paralysis was reported. The girl lives in Jerusalem. “It has been extended to additional sampling points around Jerusalem, with the extension of sampling to more areas with lower immune coverage, and in addition the frequency of sampling has increased. »
In addition, other actions focused on extending the active epidemiological surveillance network after mild acute paralysis to all neurology departments in the country, with no age limit. Only the Jerusalem district also had cases of viral meningitis up to the age of 15.
There is a national vaccination campaign for 6 and under that all children in the family have been summoned and 7 and over will be invited to HMOs. In addition, in all vaccination centers, all ages will be accepted without separating families. If there is a child who is not vaccinated at all, the whole family will be asked to complete the vaccinations.
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