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Experts call for the chickenpox vaccine to be added to the National Immunisation Programme


Experts have long been unanimous in saying that the chickenpox vaccine should be included in the universal immunisation schedule in Finland. One of the proponents of the vaccine is Professor Timo Vesikari, Director of the Vaccine Research Centre at the University of Tampere.

The numbers are in favour of the chickenpox vaccine. Chickenpox afflicts 57,000 people per year, causing 76,000 days of absence, mostly in the form of parents taking leave to care for sick children. The National Institute for Health and Welfare estimates that the cost of these absences alone is €14 million.

Senior Medical Officer Taneli Puumalainen, Head of the Department of Vaccines and Immune Protection at the National Institute for Health and Welfare, estimates that the annual cost of the chickenpox vaccine to the state would be €3–4 million.

The chickenpox vaccine is currently included in the national immunisation schedule in countries such as the United States, Australia and Germany.