Free Upgraded Flu Shots This Year, Says Health Ministry

Flu vaccine. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Israel’s health maintenance organizations (HMOs) will offer upgraded flu shots this year, covering four different flu strains. The inoculation offered in the past covered only three strains. The additional strain, the B strain, is different than the others, with the new inoculation seen as more advanced. The inoculations are being offered to individuals aged 3 and up.

The Health Ministry recommends that Israelis receive an inoculation at their earliest possible convenience. Health officials said that the four-strain inoculation, which has been used in many countries since 2013, is very effective and has helped reduce the number of people suffering from the flu.

A total of 1.917 million inoculations will be distributed, and children in grades 2 and 3 will be inoculated by the end of December, the ministry said. The inoculations were offered to students in second grade last year as well, but only 55 percent of students received the inoculations. The ministry said that it hopes to raise that figure this year.