Beginning in September, third graders will receive flu shots in school, expanding the program that saw second graders receive the shots this year. The plan is to continue administering shots in fourth grade as well.
The flu vaccination program began two years ago, with the first inoculations administered to then-first graders. The objective is to inoculate all students at school, thus ensuring that all students receive inoculations. Health Ministry officials said that the program was important to help stop the spread of flu, which annually infects thousands of students. As the flu is very infectious, the hope is that there will be fewer cases among students. With that, the program is voluntary, and students whose parents veto the program will not be inoculated.
The Ministry estimates that without the program, only 10 percent of Israeli children get flu shots. The Ministry said that it was implementing the program after it proved successful in dozens of countries, with infection rates plummeting in schools that provide inoculations.