The effectiveness of the chickenpox vaccine decreases significantly in the first year after vaccination, and also appears lower if the vaccine is administered to children younger than 15 months of age, according to a study in the February 18 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
According to background information in the article, chickenpox (varicella) vaccine is recommended for routine administration to healthy children at 12 to 18 months of age and to older children who have not yet had chickenpox. Recent reports of outbreaks of chickenpox in groups with substantial rates of immunization have increased concern about the effectiveness of the current recommendations for administration of the vaccine.
Marietta Vazquez, M.D., of the Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., and colleagues examined the influence of age at the time of chickenpox vaccination and the time since vaccination on the vaccines effectiveness. The study, conducted from March 1997 through June 2003, included 339 children 13 months or older who were clinically diagnosed as having chickenpox. For each case subject, two controls were selected, matched by both age and pediatric practice.
Karen Peart | EurekAlert!
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