Flu Vaccine Deaths Halt Vaccination Program In Israel - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/23/06-JERUSALEM

Flu Vaccine Deaths Halt Vaccination Program In Israel

 Israel's Health Ministry halted the administration of flu vaccines on Sunday after at least three people who were inoculated died, a spokeswoman said.

Israeli media reported a fourth person had also died, but officials have not yet confirmed it.

The ministry was investigating whether the deaths are connected to the vaccines, said spokeswoman Inbal Jacobs.

Israel Radio reported the three people who died during the past few days were from the southern Israeli town of Kiryat Gat, and that all had previously suffered from illnesses.

"They were suffering from various illnesses, so that the team that has checked it so far has not found any connection between this tragedy and the vaccinations," said Heath Minister Yaakov Ben-Yizri.

Later Sunday, Israeli media reported a fourth person died after receiving a flu shot _ a man in another part of the country who was suffering from a chronic illness.

The vaccines were manufactured by the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis and distributed by the Israeli company Medici. Israel's Army Radio reported that the health ministry had asked the pharmaceutical company to investigate its laboratories.

Israel's Channel 10 TV reported from a health ministry briefing that it was very unlikely that the deaths were related directly to the vaccine, and flu shots might be resumed as early as Monday.

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