Concerning swine flu vaccine safety, the panel noted that the nation's current vaccine safety infrastructure is "unlikely to be sufficient." It called for strengthening vaccine safety surveillance for adverse events linked to H1N1 swine flu vaccination.
National Vaccine Advisory Committee, a group of outside experts that advises HHS on vaccine policy.
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Israel to Increase Stock of Swine Flu Vaccine
IsraelNN.com) Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave orders on Wednesday to purchase more swine flu vaccines amidst growing concerns over the virus' continue growth. Following a meeting between Netanyahu and the Health Ministry's swine flu team, the decision was made to begin purchasing sufficient quantities to cover every Israeli citizen. At the meeting it was also decided to increase stocks of swine flu treatment medications by 5 percent to bring Israel's coverage up to 30 percent of the population.
The cost of purchasing additional drug vaccines is estimated at NIS 450 million. The Prime Minister ordered his office to coordinate with the Treasury and the Ministry of Health to find funding sources and present findings at the next cabinet meeting.
But one good thing is, Litzman is a religious Jew. There is hope that by explaining to him the situation, he will come to his senses and will make sure that only SAFE measures are taken in Israel.
Last update - 22:45 29/07/2009
Pregnant woman infected with swine flu in serious condition
By Barak Ravid and Dan Even, Haaretz Correspondents
A 38-year-old resident of East Jerusalem was being kept alive by a ventilation machine Wednesday night after being hospitalized in serious condition with swine flu. The woman, 30 weeks pregnant, was being treated at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem.
Doctors were administering tests late Wednesday night and deliberating whether or not to deliver the fetus by cesarean section.
According to the study conducted by the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), pregnant women infected with swine flu have a much higher risk of severe illness and death.
Pregnant women account for six percent of U.S. swine flu deaths since the pandemic began in April, even though they make up only one percent of the U.S. population.
The pregnant woman was hospitalized days after the Health Ministry confirmed Israel's first swine flu fatality. Shimon Azran, a 35-year-old Eilat resident, died of pneumonia after contracting the H1N1 virus.
The Health Ministry warned on Wednesday that it expected 700,000 Israelis to contract the virus. So far, 1,500 cases have been confirmed in Israel, but testing was halted a week and a half ago. The Ministry believes that thousands of Israelis have become ill since.
Netanyahu orders swine flu vaccines for every Israeli citizen
Earlier Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an order for the purchase of enough swine flu vaccines to inoculate every Israeli citizen, following a meeting with a special Health Ministry task force.
In addition, Deputy Health Minister Ya'akov Litzman came to an agreement with Netanyahu to increase the nation's flu medication reserves by five percent, so that the amount will be sufficient to treat 30 percent of the population rather than just a quarter.
The cost of the vaccine purchase together with the increase in medication supplies will be around NIS 450 million. The prime minister asked his office director to coordinate the expenditure with the treasury and the Health Ministry in order to bring the issue before the cabinet for a vote as soon as possible.
A vaccine for the relatively new strain of flu, known as H1N1, has not yet been developed, but dozens of pharmaceutical companies around the world are currently working tirelessly toward a vaccine. Experts predict that a finished vaccine should be available for purchase within about two months.
European nations have been quick to order the potential vaccine, but in Israel the issue has been delayed until now.
Israel's center for disease control has said that 700 Israelis contract swine flu every week. The Health Ministry's data has seen an increase in the number of Israelis sick with the virus, especially in Jerusalem and in Israel's central region.
Netanyahu Orders Swine Flu Vaccination for All Israelis
Av 8, 5769, 29 July 09 05:31
by Hillel Fendel
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered the purchase of a swine-flu vaccine for all seven-plus million citizens of Israel. The estimated cost: NIS 450 million.
The vaccination is still in its developmental stage, and is expected to be delivered to Israel in a matter of months.
Netanyahu announced the decision after meeting with Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, who actually objected to it. Litzman, who heads the Ministry (there is no Health Minister) told Army Radio this morning that there is no need for the vaccination. He also said that by the time the vaccination is ready, the winter and its swine-flu dangers will have passed.
Swine flu, also known as the H1N1 virus, has been proliferating throughout Israel at an alarming rate of late; the first Israeli death as a result of the flu was recorded just a few days ago, when Shimon Azran (35) of Eilat died of pneumonia after contracting H1N1. In addition, three people are hospitalized with the illness, including two babies in serious condition.
On Tuesday night, 400 Israeli Scout campers from Ganei Tikva were sent home from their summer experience in Ofer Forest in the Carmel area, near Haifa, after 68 of them reported feeling ill. Only five of them were ultimately diagnosed with swine-flu; none of them required hospitalization.
Over a million Americans have contracted H1N1; 300 have died, or less than 0.03%.
Netanyahu instructed his Bureau Director to coordinate finding funding sources for the vaccination with the Finance Minister and with the Deputy Health Minister. He asked that a proposal be presented at the next Cabinet meeting.
"This decision places Israel in the front line with leading countries in terms of future stocks of vaccinations against the virus," Netanyahu's office stated.
It was also decided to increase the stock of medicines against H1N1 by 5%, even though the current levels are already more than the average European nation has.