Source: St. Albert Gazette
By: Sarrazin, Megan
The Canadian province of Alberta will begin providing a second round of chickenpox vaccinations to preschool-aged children at the beginning of the August. The province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. James Talbot, says the varicella vaccine has been administered to children 12 months of age since 2001, but a second dose will help to further prevent infection. “It looks like [the vaccine is] lasting for four or five years and then starts to come down, which is why we’re offering the vaccine to four- or six-year-olds,” says Talbot. The second dose of the varicella vaccine will be combined with the standard vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella that is routinely administered to children age four to six. About 90 to 95 percent of children receive the first dose, according to Talbot, who adds that he would like to see at least 80 percent get the second. Most provinces are providing the second dose or are planning to, in accordance with recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.