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Paediatr Child Health. 2006 Sep;11(7):413-5.

Seven fatal varicella infections in children were potentially avoidable: A report from IMPACT centres from 2000 to 2005.

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  • 1BC Children's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia.


A varicella vaccine for children has been readily available in Canada since 2000, but some parents and physicians doubt the need for it. The Immunization Monitoring Program, ACTive (IMPACT) network of pediatric hospitals tabulated 1900 varicella-related hospitalizations and seven varicella-related deaths from 2000 to 2005. The present report describes these fatal cases, demonstrating the unpredictable and avoidable nature of life-threatening varicella complications. The knowledge that healthy children can die of chickenpox could influence parents to accept the recommended vaccination. Deaths from varicella should cease to occur, given the safe alternative of, and free access to, vaccination in current provincial programs.


Chickenpox; Chickenpox vaccine; Immunizations; Preventive care; Varicella

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