Immunisation Horizon Scanning Volume 7 Issue 5

December 22, 2015
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Should the UK introduce a universal childhood varicella vaccination programme?

December 21, 2015

Source: Archives of Diseases in Childhood, 2016, 101 (1), pp. 2-3

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Date of publication: December 2015

Publication Type: Editorial

In a nutshell: Primary varicella infection (chickenpox) is common in the UK with over three-quarters of parents reporting a history of chickenpox in their children by 5 years of age. Following primary infection, the varicella zoster virus (VZV) remains dormant in the dorsal root ganglia and reactivates in later life following a decline in cell-mediated immunity to cause herpes zoster or shingles (HZ). Although chickenpox is generally mild and self-limiting in healthy children, secondary bacterial infections, pneumonia and neurological complications can occur. The risk of severe chickenpox is higher in immunocompromised individuals, pregnant women and neonates, although most hospitalisations for severe complications are in previously healthy children. Shingles is a potentially debilitating condition, which results in a greater burden and quality of life loss than chickenpox. The incidence of shingles and the risk of post herpetic neuralgia increase with age.

Length of publication: 2 pages


Enter B and W: two new meningococcal vaccine programmes launched

December 21, 2015

Source: Archives of Diseases in Childhood, 2016, 101 (1), pp. 91-95

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Date of publication: October 2015

Publication Type: Review

In a nutshell: In 2015, the UK became the first country in the world to have a comprehensive routine meningococcal vaccine programme targeting all of the main capsular groups of N. meningitidis. 1 An infant vaccine programme against meningococcal capsular group B Neisseria meningitidis (MenB) was launched from 1st September with an aim to reduce endemic MenB disease in early childhood. On 1st August 2015, an adolescent programme against groups A, C, W and Y meningococci (MenACWY) was rolled out to halt a growing outbreak of capsular group W disease (MenW) caused by a hypervirulent clone of N. meningitidis, in addition to maintaining control against MenC disease provided by the current adolescent programme.

Length of publication: 5 page article