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Varicella vaccine effectiveness over 10 years in Australia; moderate protection from 1-dose program

A new study on varicella vaccine effectiveness over 10 years has been published in the Journal of Infection. This study used varicella cases identified through the PAEDS sentinel network over a 6-year period and age-matched control children from the AIR to estimate 1-dose vaccine effectiveness. There were 78 hospitalised varicella cases during the study period, all of whom were eligible for funded varicella vaccination.

The study found that although Australia’s program has impacted on the burden of varicella disease, single dose vaccine effectiveness against varicella hospitalisation is only moderate. Greater reductions in varicella disease could potentially be achieved by incorporation of a second vaccine dose into the program to minimise breakthrough disease and interrupt virus circulation.