How has the varicella vaccine affected the incidence of pediatric chickenpox?

Updated: Nov 30, 2018
  • Author: Kirsten A Bechtel, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Before vaccination for varicella became widespread in the United States, this disease affected approximately 4 million children per year, caused as many as 100 deaths in children annually, and was responsible for an estimated $400 million in medical costs and lost wages each year. Since the varicella vaccine was introduced for children aged 12-18 months in the United States in 1995 and booster vaccine given at age 4-5 years, disease incidence has substantially decreased. (See Epidemiology.)


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