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Chickenpox vaccine gets approval in US

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 01 April 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:824

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first vaccine, Varivax, to prevent chickenpox. The vaccine is based on a live attenuated varicella zoster virus, which was developed in Japan in the early 1970s. Varivax is licensed for general use and brings to 10 the number of diseases among children that can be prevented through immunisation. Each state in the US will decide whether to add chickenpox vaccine to the list of vaccines required for admission to elementary school.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that four million cases of chickenpox occur annually in the US. Most are in children under 15, when the disease …

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