UK filterers will have heard the chickenpox vaccines are being introduced here.
I’ve not got the pros and cons of this vaccine but the reason is interesting.
The vaccine has not been introduced before because of a drawback, in that it can remove natural immunity leading later in life to adults getting shingles, which is more serious.
It still has the same drawback. The JVC1 committee have decided “We have a dream…” of eradicating chickenpox.
Nothing personal or political about that of course.
People (rather, parents) will be advised their child should get the vaccine in their own interests, when in fact that has already been evaluated as not being the case.
Story below from the Epoch Times.
The NHS has held off chickenpox vaccines due to fears they will lead to a ‘significant’ increase in shingles in adults.
By Owen Evans 11/14/2023
The chickenpox vaccine should be introduced on the NHS for young children, government scientists have recommended, as restrictions on social mixing led to fewer cases of the common childhood illness.
On Tuesday, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises UK health departments, said the jab should be given to all children in two doses when they are aged 12 months and 18 months.
The UK has held off vaccinating children against chickenpox, as if natural boosting is lost, immunity in adults will drop and more shingles cases will occur.
However now health bosses said they wanted to make chickenpox a “problem of the past.”
The chicken pox vaccine is only available privately in the UK, though it is a routine childhood jab in some countries–including the United States and Australia.
The JCVI said that further work is needed to understand whether a targeted catch-up programme could be cost-effective for children ages six to 11 years.
The thinking behind the new announcement was that during the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions on social mixing led to fewer cases of chickenpox, also known as varicella, in younger age groups compared with before the lockdowns, therefore leaving a larger pool of children susceptible to varicella.
Doses should be in a combined MMRV (a combination with measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, JCVI recommended.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will now look at the recommendation.
The NHS website says that routine vaccination of children against chickenpox could also result in a significant increase in cases of shingles in adults.
It said that when people get chickenpox, the virus remains in the body and that “this can then reactivate at a later date and cause shingles.”
“Being exposed to chickenpox as an adult (for example, through contact with infected children) boosts your immunity to shingles. If you vaccinate children against chickenpox, you lose this natural boosting, so immunity in adults will drop and more shingles cases will occur,” the NHS added.
Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, chairman of the JCVI, said: “Chickenpox is well known, and most parents will probably consider it a common and mild illness among children.
“But for some babies, young children and even adults, chickenpox or its complications can be very serious, resulting in hospitalisation and even death.
“Adding the varicella vaccine to the childhood immunisation programme will dramatically reduce the number of chickenpox cases in the community, leading to far fewer of those tragic, more serious cases.
“We now have decades of evidence from the United States and other countries showing that introducing this programme is safe, effective and will have a really positive impact on the health of young children.”
Dr. Gayatri Amirthalingam, deputy director of public health programmes at UKHSA, said: “Introducing a vaccine against chickenpox would prevent most children getting what can be quite a nasty illness–and for those who would experience more severe symptoms, it could be a life saver.
“The JCVI’s recommendations will help make chickenpox a problem of the past and bring the UK into line with a number of other countries that have well-established programmes.”
Anna Watson, the founder of the Arnica Network told The Epoch Times she was surprised by the development. The group was formed in 2007 by parents concerned about the vaccination program.
“I’d be interested in what is behind the thinking,” she said.
“I didn’t see this coming and haven’t been aware of serious complications with chicken pox. Apparently the ‘thinking’ has changed as it often is, mostly in favour of more vaccines," she said.
“At one time, live vaccines would never be given together but now we have the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella),” she added.
PA Media contributed to this report.