vaccine shot

With fall comes the flu.  Now is the time to get prepared for the flu season with a free flu shot from your local health fund (קופת חולים / kupat cholim).

vaccine shotWhy vaccinate
Getting the flu shot can go a long way in preventing catching influenza and spreading it to others who might be even more severely affected, like an elderly grandparent or a pregnant neighbor.

Who should vaccinate
The Israel Ministry of Health and the US Centers for Disease Control recommend that everyone get the flu vaccine.  This includes children from the age of 6 months.  Extra emphasis is placed on vaccination for those with chronic illnesses, people aged 50 and older, pregnant women, children under the age of 5, and healthcare workers.

When to vaccinate
The Israel Ministry of Health recommends vaccination as soon as the vaccine becomes available in early October and if at all possible by the end of November, in order for your body to build immunity before flu season gets into full swing.  Of course, getting vaccinated afterwards can still be helpful as well.

How much does it cost?
It’s free!  All of the health funds have decided to make the vaccine available to all members at no cost, which shows that they believe the vaccine will help them keep their members healthy and avoid costly trips to the doctor, medications, and hospitalizations.

How do I get it?
The vaccine is available at your health fund.  Children under age 8 need to bring their vaccine booklet (פנקס חיסונים / pinkas chisunim).  Call ahead to verify your clinic’s hours and that the vaccine is in stock.


Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!

2 thoughts on “Free flu shots now available

  1. The kind lady from Macabi just shouted at me down the phone to tell me that only the elderly, children and people at risk are able to get flu’ shots. My wife has the flu’ its only a matter of time before I get it now, I suppose I claim back from my insurance when I lose days of work.

    1. Yossi, it seems things are evolving this flu season (2012). In November, the adults in our family – who are not high risk – received the flu shot at Maccabi. However, it seems Maccabi has updated its policy as a result of higher than expected demand and restricted the offering to more high risk groups such as the chronically ill, women who are pregnant or have recently given birth, and those 50 or older. In the update they noted that once they restock, they will again be making the vaccine available to all.

      I recommend you stay on top of it and check back with your local branch in a week or so. I wish you good health in this flu season!

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