Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1100)

Louise O'Reilly


1100. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if vaccination for varicella zoster virus and chicken pox will be included as part of the national childhood immunisation programme in view of the fact that it is available privately here. [20035/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) is an independent committee of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland which is comprised of experts from several specialties, including infectious diseases, paediatrics, and public health, which makes recommendations to my Department on vaccination policy in Ireland. Its recommendations are based on the prevalence of the relevant disease in Ireland and international best practice in relation to immunisation. 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.

There is no recommendation from NIAC concerning the inclusion of varicella-zoster vaccine (chicken pox) in the primary childhood immunisation schedule. However, parents may choose to have their child immunised privately.