To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to resume the childhood vaccination programme during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of including chickenpox vaccination in that programme.
Public Health England and NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with regional commissioners to ensure routine childhood immunisations continue to be delivered throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, ensuring those eligible are protected against a range of vaccine-preventable diseases. Programmes delivered through schools are currently on hold and will be rescheduled as schools open.
The Government’s Coronavirus Action Plan requested that everyone should ensure that they and their family’s vaccinations are up-to-date, as this will help to reduce any pressure on the National Health Service from vaccine-preventable diseases. Guidance can be accessed at the following link:
In 2010, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation found that offering a universal varicella vaccination programme against chickenpox would not be cost effective and may increase the risk of severe disease and complications in adulthood, both from chickenpox and shingles.