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Chickenpox: Lost Working Days

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 25th March 2020.

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Photo of Chris Green Chris Green Conservative, Bolton West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of working days that are lost each year as a result of parents caring for a child with chickenpox.

Photo of Chris Green Chris Green Conservative, Bolton West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the average cost to families of parents and carers taking time off work to care for children with chickenpox; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which provides the Government with expert advice on the provision of vaccination and immunisation services, does not routinely include non-health-related assessments such as these when considering evidence towards their recommendations.

Our chickenpox (varicella) immunisation programme, following advice from the JCVI, is targeted at those who are in close contact with people who are at high risk from chickenpox, such as siblings of a leukaemic child, or a child whose parent is undergoing chemotherapy. The JCVI does not currently recommend universal varicella vaccine as part of the routine childhood programme.

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