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Fifteen-minute consultation: Chickenpox vaccine—should parents immunise their children privately?


Varicella zoster virus primarily causes chickenpox, usually a mild self-limiting illness of childhood. However, complications occur in 1% with 4200 annual deaths. Since the first vaccination was developed in the 1970s, many countries have introduced universal mass immunisation, but the UK currently only routinely immunises ‘at-risk’ populations. With increasing availability of private varicella vaccination, this article reviews the pros and cons of whether parents should be immunising their children with the chickenpox vaccine privately.

  • evidence based medicine
  • general paediatrics
  • immunisation
  • virology
  • epidemiology

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