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Chickenpox vaccine to incorporate into DH Childhood Immunisation Programme on July 2

     The Department of Health (DH) today (June 24) announced that the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine would be incorporated into the Hong Kong Childhood Immunisation Programme (HKCIP) for children born on or after January 1, 2013. They will be eligible to receive vaccination at the DH's Maternal and Child Health Centres (MCHCs) starting from July 2, 2014.

     "The recommended vaccination schedule consists of two doses of varicella vaccines. Children born on or after January 1, 2013, who have reached one year old are eligible to receive the first dose of varicella vaccine together with other vaccines under the HKCIP at their scheduled vaccination appointments at MCHCs. The second dose of varicella vaccine will be given by the DH's School Immunisation Teams when these children reach Primary One," a spokesman for the DH said.

     The spokesman also explained the implementation details of the first dose of varicella vaccine through scheduled vaccination appointments at MCHCs:

Children born between January 1 and June 30, 2013

     Those with scheduled appointments at 18 months old for receiving Diphtheria, Tetanus, Acellular Pertussis and Inactivated Poliovirus (DTaP-IPV) vaccine (booster dose) at MCHCs between July 2014 and March 2015 will get the varicella vaccine on the same day for their convenience;

Children born on or after July 1, 2013

     They will receive the varicella vaccine at scheduled appointments for receiving Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine (first dose) as well as Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) (booster dose) when they reach one year old.

     The spokesman added, "For eligible children who do not have scheduled appointments between July 2014 and March 2015, their parents or representatives can make appointments at MCHCs in person during opening hours with their immunisation records."

     Parents may call the DH's hotline (2125 1133) for enquiries on varicella vaccination and the arrangement at MCHCs. The hotline will operate from 2pm to 6pm today and from 9am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday tomorrow onwards.

     The DH followed the recommendation of the Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases (SCVPD) under the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) to introduce varicella vaccine into the HKCIP after the SCVPD reviewed scientific evidence including local epidemiology, latest economic analysis and recommendations across the international community. There is no plan to conduct catch-up immunisation.

     The public may visit the HKCIP page of the DH's Family Health Service ( or the CHP's chickenpox page ( for more information.

Ends/Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Issued at HKT 13:00


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