by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
To avoid hysteria and rumor, it's often very valuable to gather some factual data. Here's some factual data about H1N1 flu and Israel...
Every vaccine has side effects (that may affect up to 1% of recipients) and a negative reaction rate. That includes the flu shot.
I spoke to a local doctor who's part of the regional flu response team. Here's what he said the doctors from the Israeli Ministry of Health are informing the health teams about H1N1 in Israel:
1. The H1N1 is less severe than the hype or as has been reported around the world, even less than the seasonal flu. While the original Mexican cases appeared very severe with a high fatality rate, the virus as it's spreading is not acting that way.
2. H1N1 is proving more infectious than the seasonal flu. The Health Ministry is estimating that 25% of the population will get infected before it runs it's course.
3. The Ministry is only recommending vaccination for health workers and those with chronic or respiratory conditions (like asthma).
4. To receive the vaccine in Israel you need: doctor's approval, and to sign a page long "full disclosure" form from the Ministry of Health.
5. Israel has reported around 40 H1N1 deaths, and 1 death from the vaccine. They predict 25% of the population will get H1N1, and it will lead to 700 deaths.
The doctor I spoke to noted he had taken the H1N1 shot that day, but further noted that he anticipated coming into contact with many sick patients through the season - so for him it made sense.
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא