RCGP backs chickenpox vaccine for a four-in-one MMR jab

The RCGP has backed plans to vaccinate children against chickenpox as part of a four-in-one MMR vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises the DoH, has called on ministers to set up a sub-group to look into the issues of vaccinating against chickenpox.

Berkshire GP and RCGP immunisation spokesman Dr George Kassianos said the plans were ‘well overdue’.

‘This is an infectious disease affecting at least nine out of 10 people in the UK, mainly when very young,’ he said. ‘The easiest way to introduce varicella immunisation is to incorporate it into the MMR.’

He pointed out that the four-in-one vaccine, called MMR-V, had already been developed. However, Dr Kassianos warned that introducing a childhood chickenpox vaccine could result in an increase in the number of cases of shingles in adults.

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