Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (1930)

Alan Kelly


1930. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of providing the chickenpox varicella vaccine to all children as part of the childhood immunisation vaccination programme; if he has considered such a roll-out; the research or analysis his officials have carried out on this; if there has been research conducted on the health and productivity gains to Ireland from such a roll-out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34368/19]

View answer

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.  It 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.  Therefore, the immunisation schedule will continue to be amended over time.

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