#Ministry #Health #babies #vaccinated #polio
The success of the polio vaccination campaign that has been carried out in recent months led the Ministry of Health to declare on Thursday that the vaccine would no longer be administered to children over six years of age.
In a public statement, the ministry explains that it made its decision after surveys showed that the vaccination rate among children aged six weeks to 18 months, considered a high-risk group for the virus, was 99%.
This rate was 81% in March, when the first clinical case of polio in 34 years was detected in an unvaccinated 4-year-old girl. She was first treated at the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, then at a specialized center to treat muscle sequelae.
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Nationwide, the polio vaccination rate currently stands at 85 percent, the Health Ministry said, describing the increase in vaccination coverage since March as “impressive.”
Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, the ministry’s head of public health services, said Israel was witnessing the “disappearance of polio,” which she said was “great news.”
The ministry said the last positive polio test was recorded in Jerusalem on May 30 and nothing since then, Alroy-Preis said, stressing that this was the result of the ministry’s campaign. The virus is still present in Jerusalem sewage, but at much lower levels, the ministry said.
The main success of the campaign, underlined Alroy-Preis, lies in the fact that “no new clinical case has been detected since the start of the campaign”, adding that “the vaccination rate had reached 100% in the Haredi community of Jerusalem”. .
The ministry explained that it had coordinated its action with the services of the World Health Organization throughout the campaign. For this, he was “congratulated” for “the speed in making decisions and organizing the campaign, as well as for his communication with the public.”
Following the first case detected in March, several other children tested positive for the virus but remained asymptomatic.
Despite the low number of cases, the WHO said at the time that it was an epidemic phenomenon, since developed countries were supposed to be completely polio-free. The slightest reported case raises concerns about possible spread.
This led to the huge vaccination campaign of the Ministry of Health, which is now coming to an end.
“The vaccination campaign has gone very well and has significantly increased the necessary protection against the disease,” he said this week in the israeli times Dr. Michal Shtein, Director of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Unit at Sheba Hospital.
“Today, there is still a vulnerability to polio in Israel, but the risk of someone contracting the disease is low,” explained Professor Hagai Levine, an epidemiologist at the Hebrew University and president of the Israel Association of Public Health Physicians. Israel.
“The protection of the youngest, who play an important role in the spread of the disease, is now much better. »