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CHICKENPOX VACCINE SHOULD BE INTRODUCED ON NHS FOR CHILDREN AGED 12 TO 18 MONTHS SAY EXPERTS

Experts have said that the chickenpox vaccine should be introduced on the NHS.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended that all children in the UK aged between 12 and 18 months should be given the jab.

The vaccine would be given in two doses, with the Department of Health and Social Care to make a final decision on whether to go ahead with the recommendations.

A temporary catch-up programme for older children will also be included in the rollout.

Data from other countries suggests the vaccine, called the varicella jab, would reduce circulating chickenpox and prevent severe cases in children.

The NHS has not previously introduced the vaccine as it may increase the risk of chickenpox and shingles in adults.

It said that if a childhood vaccination programme was introduced, people would not catch the virus as children, leaving unvaccinated children to get chickenpox as adults, when cases are more severe.

However, that thinking has now changed.

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