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Panic following deaths linked to flu vaccines
HMO that vaccinated four people who died following flu vaccination flooded by concerned patients. 'Worried relatives keep calling me,' says patient's daughter

Heavy traffic poured through the HMO branch in the southern city of Kiryat Gat which gave flu vaccinations to four people who later died. News reports of their deaths brought multitudes of worried patients who had received the shot to the HMO's doors.


"I'm a little worried and hope that the subject will be tested seriously, after all, we came to preserve our health," said Dina Kacshny, 68.


Hagit Mezig, whose 58 year old mother Aliza Ben Shevo was vaccinated a week ago came worried to the HMO branch.


Speaking with Ynet she said: "I came here to see how we can arrange tests for her. I'm concerned and anxious, I plan to bring my mother in for a thorough exam. This is the first year that she's gotten the vaccination and you can never know if the effects might not be long-term. Worried relatives keep calling me, wanting to know if everything's ok."


Haim Levy, a 58 year old heart failure patient, was vaccinated last week at the Kiryat Gat branch.


"I heard about the case," he said, "and came here but the branch director spoke with me and told me that there is nothing to worry about, that there's no connection. But I intend to run down to the hospital for an exam because I'm a high-risk patient.


Possibility of autopsy ruled out

Dr. Michael Gadilevic, the regional physician in the Ashkelon district also arrived at the HMO branch and calmed things down.


"Everything is being done with the utmost care to discover the link between the cases of people who have died several days after receiving a flu shot," he said, adding that initial test have already been conducted but that there would be further testing to check the possibility of a connection to the alterations done to the vaccine each year according to medical estimates and the deaths.


Gadilevic stated that the tests would examine whether a change of the vaccine's makeup caused complications with patients already determined as "suffering greatly from other health conditions."


Gadilevic ruled out the possibility of an autopsy.


"Is there a need for exhuming someone? We believe not. There is still no conclusive evidence. I can say that a link between the deaths and the vaccination is very unlikely, however as a precaution we have decided to stop the vaccinations."


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