UK Recommends Chickenpox Vaccine for Babies and Children - BLOOMBERG
NOVEMBER 14, 2023
(Bloomberg) -- British children should be offered chickenpox vaccinations under new recommendations by a panel of experts.
The vaccine, which would be free but not mandatory, should be offered to all children in two doses at 12 and 18 months of age in the UK, according to a statement Tuesday from the UK Health Security Agency. The decision marks a reversal for the UK and will bring it into line with Australia, Germany, Japan and the US.
Bloomberg News reported earlier in the year that the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization was edging closer to recommending the chickenpox vaccine.
Read More: UK Moves Toward Embracing Chickenpox Vaccine in Policy Reversal
The virus responsible for chickenpox, varicella-zoster, can cause shingles by reactivating years later. The shot itself is a live vaccine — an inoculation that contains a weakened version of the virus — and a small number of children develop a mild chickenpox rash and fever after receiving it.
“We now have decades of evidence from the US and other countries showing that introducing this programme is safe” and effective, said Andrew Pollard, a professor who chairs the JCVI.
The JCVI submitted its recommendations to the Department of Health and Social Care which will take a final decision.