25 Jun 2013

Chickenpox, rotavirus vaccines urged for children

3:11 pm on 25 June 2013

Experts appointed by Pharmac have told the agency to fund chickenpox and rotavirus vaccines for all children as a high priority.

Pharmac has released minutes of a sub-committee meeting held in March, which recommended the vaccines be added to the national immunisation schedule.

Pharmac said it will consider both recommendations at a meeting in August.

Separately, the Immunisation Advisory Centre hopes Pharmac will follow the sub-committee's advice, but noted the Government has turned down the recommendation before because of cost.

Research director Helen Petousis-Harris said funding a chickenpox vaccine is the higher priority, as the disease has a greater risk of death and serious complications than rotavirus.