Better Coverage with Second Shot: Giving Chicken Pox Vaccine Twice Increases Protection

By Seppa, Nathan | Science News, January 29, 2011 | Go to article overview

Better Coverage with Second Shot: Giving Chicken Pox Vaccine Twice Increases Protection


Seppa, Nathan, Science News


Two are better than one when it comes to chicken pox shots, scientists have found.

The chicken pox shot, first made available in the United States in 1995, has already proved able to prevent the disease in about 80 to 85 percent of children who get a single dose. In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics jointly recommended a two-shot approach, suggesting that children get the shot just after 12 months and again at age 4 to 6. A new study in the Feb. 1 Journal of Infectious Diseases supports this revision: Adding another shot ups disease prevention to nearly 100 percent.

Pediatrician Eugene Shapiro of Yale School of Medicine and his colleagues identified 71 children who had contracted chicken pox between 2006 and 2010, verifying the diagnoses with tests showing viral DNA in skin lesions on the kids. The children had attended 28 clinics in Connecticut. The researchers found that five of these 71 children hadn't been vaccinated, and that 66 others had received a single shot. …

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