The Ministry of Finance has proposed that the chickenpox vaccine be included in the National Immunisation Programme.
The vaccine’s inclusion in the programme has been suggested for several years by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the National Institute for Health and Welfare and the national vaccination expert group. No funding has been granted for the vaccine in previous state budgets.
According to the National Institute for Health and Welfare, including the chickenpox vaccine in the National Institute for Health and Welfare would generate substantial savings for society. It would also be likely to eradicate the disease from Finland almost entirely in two or three years’ time.
The National Institute for Health and Welfare estimates that including the vaccine in the National Immunisation Programme would produce savings of about €2 million in health care costs and more than €14 million in savings related to absences from work, for example. The annual costs of the chickenpox vaccine are estimated to be €4 million.
There are about 57,000 cases of chickenpox in Finland each year, mostly involving children. For adults, pregnant women and immunosuppressed people, the disease can be serious.