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All children should have chickenpox vaccine, says study

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All children should be vaccinated against chickenpox, according to a study showing nearly 190 are hospitalised every year because of the disease.

The research was based on surveillance of GPs in the UK and Ireland notifying cases to the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit.

Average age on admission to hospital was three, with symptoms including bacteraemia, toxic shock, necrotising fasciitis and encephalitis. There were 188 admissions in total and six deaths among them were attributed to varicella, including one intrauterine death.

Authors stated: ‘Most complications, excluding death, occur in otherwise healthy children and thus would be preventable only through a universal childhood immunisation programme.’

Archives of Disease in Childhood (2007)

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