July 05, 2017
Rangatahi still at risk from Chickenpox
The chickenpox vaccine varicella is finally available to all tamariki in New Zealand, previously it's only been available to children presenting certain risk factors.
Varicella is widely used overseas and has been for several decades and it can't come too soon for Health practitioners and researchers like Dr Helen Petousis Harris from Auckland University Immunisation Advisory Centre.
" Children will be able to have it with their 15 month shots and one dose is pretty good. It gives pretty good protection and that should really see most of our chicken pox disappear," she says.
Although the vaccine can eradicate chickenpox those rangatahi taiohi not vaccinated during infancy still have a high risk of the disease.
" It's a much worse disease if you're older than when you're younger which is why we want to catch anybody that hasn't had it before they really enter puberty and become adolescence" says Dr Petousis Harris.
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