Health | Health technology assessment regarding the potential inclusion of a chickenpox varicella zoster vaccine
To ask the Minister for Health if the health technology assessment regarding the potential inclusion of a chickenpox varicella zoster vaccine has been completed by HIQA; if his Department are taking the report into consideration in Budget 2023 discussions; if a 2023 launch of this programme is likely subject to a positive HTA report; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The immunisation programme in Ireland is based on the advice of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC). The committee’s recommendations are based on the prevalence of the relevant disease in Ireland and international best practice in relation to immunisation. It makes recommendations on vaccination policy to my Department.
NIAC continues to revise recommendations to allow for the introduction of new vaccines in Ireland and to keep abreast of changes in the patterns of disease. Therefore, the immunisation schedule will continue to be amended over time. All vaccines administered through the Primary Childhood Immunisation Schedule are provided free of charge.
Varicella (chickenpox) is an acute infectious disease caused by varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Primary infection with varicella results in varicella (chickenpox). Recurrent infection results in herpes zoster (shingles).
Varicella vaccination is not currently included as part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule.
I can confirm that HIQA are currently carrying out a Health Technology Assessment. On completion, the outcome of the HTA will form the basis of decision making in relation to the inclusion or otherwise of the varicella vaccine in the National Immunisation programme.
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