Ferson MJ. Public health
Unit, Eastern Sydney Area health
Service, Randwick, New South Wales, Australia. Another vaccine, another treadmill? J Paediatr Child health 1995 Feb;31(1):3-5
OBJECTIVE: Attention is drawn to possible disadvantages arising from the introduction of universal varicella vaccination in infancy. METHODOLOGY: Comparisons are made between universal infant varicella vaccination and the current measles immunization programme, and a review of current literature on age-specific complications of varicella and cost-benefit analyses of varicella vaccination. RESULTS: Universal infant vaccination will cause a greater proportion of varicella cases to occur in adults, including pregnant women, who are at greater risk of serious complications compared to children. Although economic costs resulting from lost time from work will fall dramatically, health costs may rise. CONCLUSIONS: Universal infant vaccination should only be considered if measles is first controlled, and then only if more information on duration of protection becomes available and combined measles-mumps-rubella-varicella vaccines are approved.