As of July 2004, all varicella and vaccinations against chickenpox were included in STIKO’s official vaccination recommendation. Saxony’s Vaccination Commission (SIKO) has recommended vaccinations against varicella for all children since 2003. But this was a risky decision as the infections will decrease in the short-term. In the long-term there will be more and more adolescents and adults who are not protected - either by having been sick or by a vaccination - as the vaccination rates will be relatively low (and thus the virus will not be eliminated). However, if there were epidemics, there would be more complications in these age groups (www.aerztezeitung).
There is a very interesting article by Dr. med Rabe (Chickenpox - the underestimated killer? ) on the decision to include vaccination against chickenpox in the regular vaccination scheme.
Presently approximately 750,000 people come down with the chickenpox every year in Germany.
As a result of mass vaccinations (see USA) the natural balance has shifted towards herpes zoster (shingles), the secondary disease of chickenpox, the course of which is much more dangerous than that of measles. The rate of complications fort his disease is much higher. Since the introduction of vaccinations against chickenpox the number of herpes zoster infections in children increased dramatically in the USA and in the mean time have reached the number of infections in adults (Goldman GS: Universal varicella vaccination: efficacy trends and effect on herpes zoster.Int J Toxicol. 2005 Jul-Aug;24(4):205-13). Herpes zoster is a disease that generally only occurs very rarely in children.
Chickenpox is a virus infection with the varicella zoster virus which mainly appears in children as children have a high degree of infectability. Normally the measles are benign and do not entail complications.
Wild-type varicella zoster virus infection (WTVZV) early in childhood has been shown to protect against the development of asthma and atopy. The infection in childhood protects up to 10 years of age against atopic dermatitis, delays onset of atopic dermatitis symptoms, and decreases atopic dermatitis severity and office visits(Silverberg JI, Norowitz KB, Kleiman E, Silverberg NB, Durkin HG, Joks R, Smith-Norowitz TA.:Association between varicella zoster virus infection and atopic dermatitis in early and late childhood: a case-control study. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Aug;126(2):300-5. Epub 2010 Jul 10.)
The vaccination against chickenpox is disputed even in circles that normally are proponents of vaccinations. The vaccination can lead to a shift in balance between chickenpox and herpes zoster. A vaccination will reduce the number of people catching chickenpox but at the same time there will be a rise in the number of herpes zoster infections. (J Infect. 2002 May;44(4):211-9.Edmunds WJ, Brisson M. The effect of vaccination on the epidemiology of varicella zoster virus / Yih WK, Brooks DR, Lett SM, Jumaan AO, Zhang Z, Clements KM, Seward JF The incidence of varicella and herpes zoster in Massachusetts as measured by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) during a period of increasing varicella vaccine coverage, 1998-2003.BMC Public Health. 2005 Jun 16;5(1):68.)
If you compare chickenpox and herpes zoster you will see that with zoster infections the number of people referred to hospitals is 300% greater and the morbidity rate is 500% greater (Data Reveals Threat of Shingles Epidemic From Vaccine Use Health Officials Threaten Legal Action Against Researcher Wednesday October 1, 7:40 am ET, http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/031001/phw006_1.html)
Furthermore, when children have had contact with the varicella zoster virus it can trigger a reactivation and cause herpes zoster. Normally herpes zoster does not occur in healthy children and adolescents.(Eur J Pediatr. 2002 Aug;161(8):442-4. Epub 2002 Jun 25. Uebe B, Sauerbrei A, Burdach S, Horneff G.Herpes zoster by reactivated vaccine varicella zoster virus in a healthy child.). Please refer also to the general trials conducted by Goldmann under General Information
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