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A disease caused by the varicella zoster virus

Chickenpox is a disease that used to occur in almost everyone.

It is caused by the varicella zoster virus and spreads easily via respiratory droplets and skin blisters. Children who are otherwise healthy usually recover from chickenpox in approximately one week. For adults, pregnant women and immunosuppressed people, the disease can be serious.

The chickenpox vaccine was added to the National Immunisation Programme on 1 September 2017. It is offered free of charge to all children between the ages of 1.5–11 years who have not yet had chickenpox.

An unpleasant disease that may have serious sequelae
Bacterial infection
Finns hospitalised annually
deaths annually
Costs to society
416 €
Cost of one case of chickenpox
18 milj.€
Total cost of the annual cases of chickenpox
of chickenpox cases can be prevented by the vaccine

The vaccine has been found safe in extensive use.

In Finland, chickenpox infects nearly
60 000
people per year, most of whom are under 6 years old
the age after which getting chickenpox is more dangerous

The virus can lie dormant in the ganglia, only to activate and cause the shingles rash years later when the individual’s immunity is suppressed due to age or some other reason.

THL, Terveyskirjasto
Report by the National Public Health Institute of Finland’s children’s chickenpox vaccine working group (National Public Health Institute of Finland publications B 40/2008)