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J Infect Dis. 1992 Aug;166 Suppl 1:S63-8.

Varicella vaccine: the American experience.

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Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032.


Live attenuated varicella vaccine is safe and effective in preventing chickenpox. The best immune responses occur in healthy children. Leukemic children have a 50% incidence of mild-to-moderate adverse effects but have a high degree of protection once immune reactions to varicella-zoster virus (VZV) have developed. Adult vaccinees have a lower degree of protection (70%) than children. Vaccinees who develop breakthrough varicella usually have a modified infection. Another significant advantage of vaccination is that in leukemic children it leads to a lower incidence of zoster than after natural chickenpox. It is possible to differentiate between vaccine-type and wild-type VZV using a combination of polymerase chain reaction and restriction endonuclease digestion. A new assay for antibodies to VZV measured by latex agglutination reveals that 8-10 years after vaccination antibodies are detectable in greater than 90% of leukemic children who have not had breakthrough varicella.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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