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J Infect Dis. 2008 Mar 1;197 Suppl 2:S191-5. doi: 10.1086/522157.

Varicella vaccination in Australia and New Zealand.

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National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, Australia.


Varicella-zoster virus has been responsible for a significant disease burden, including hospitalizations and deaths in Australia and New Zealand. Varicella vaccine has been available in Australia since 1999 and, since November 2005, has been funded under the National Immunisation Program for use in all children as a single dose at 18 months of age and in a school-based catch-up program at 10-13 years of age. Recent hospitalization data from Australia show a decline in varicella hospitalizations in children 1-4 years of age, most likely related to vaccination. In New Zealand, varicella vaccine has been available since 1999 but is currently not recommended or funded on the New Zealand national immunization schedule. The anticipated licensure of combination measles-mumps-rubella-varicella vaccines in both countries may lead to future schedule changes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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