Vaccination strategies against varicella
Reference of this article: Pericas Bosch J, Grupo PrevInfad/PAPPS Infancia y Adolescencia. Vaccination strategies against varicella. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2006;8:477-89.
Published in Internet: 30-09-2006 - Visits: 9219
Chickenpox is not always a benign disease. The clinical relevance of the entity relies on the
complications, more frequent in adults, immunodeficient hosts and very young children. The burden of the disease is high, due to consume of health resources and indirect social costs: loss
of working hours of family members or caretakers, loss of days of school and other expenses.
There is an efficient and safe vaccine against this disease. Some countries have opted
for systematic vaccination of all children in their second year of life as well as all susceptible
adolescents and individuals belonging to certain groups at high risk to develop severe disease.
Other countries, Spain among them since 2005, have decided to immunize only susceptible
adolescents and other high risk population. In any case, no matter what strategy is
chosen, a long term epidemiologic follow-up of the incidence of chickenpox and its complications
in different age groups will be necessary. The same follow-up should be applied for
Herpes Zoster disease.
We discuss the different vaccination strategies (universal children vaccination, susceptible
adolescent vaccination or high risk population immunization) and the factors considered
to choose one of the strategies: costs, benefits and risks, including the possible changes
on age groups distribution of chickenpox and herpes zoster cases that universal vaccination
can cause in the future.
Keywords● Vaccination ● Varicella ● Varicella vaccine