Merck Sharp and Dohme reveals chicken pox vaccine recommendation
30 June 2006 00:00 in Pharmaceutical Company Product News
Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) has announced that the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that children aged between four and six years of age should be vaccinated against chicken pox for a second time.
The American company said it believed that a two-dose regimen of a chicken pox vaccine could provide greater protection against the "potentially serious disease".
MSD currently markets two products to vaccinate against the chicken pox-causing virus, varicella zoster. They are Varivax, a monovaccine, and Proquad, a combination vaccine that also inoculates against measles, mumps and rubella.
Welcoming the centre's decision, Mark Feinberg, MSD Vaccines' vice-president of policy, public health and medical affairs, commented: "Merck is proud that the use of our vaccines has contributed to the reduction in the incidence of chickenpox over the past 11 years."
"With widespread use of two doses of varicella vaccine, we hope to see fewer chicken pox outbreaks, especially in schools, and to we hope to see additional decreases in the number of children susceptible to the disease," he concluded.
According to BUPA, almost anyone can get chicken pox but it is most common in children. More than 90 per cent of the British population have contracted chicken pox before reaching 15 years of age. BUPA says the dormant varicella zoster virus can reactivate in some adults, causing shingles, although this does not mean that shingles can be contracted from someone with chicken pox.
Only in rare cases does chicken pox occur more than once during a lifetime. © Adfero Ltd
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Story collated for Zenopa by the Adfero News Agency