Free chickenpox vaccines for children
Chickenpox will be included in the city’s compulsory vaccination program from August 1, with children receiving free vaccination of two shots at 12 months and 4 years old, the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission said yesterday.
All neighborhood health centers can offer the free injection for eligible children, and children born after August 1, 2014 can also receive free injections, the commission said.
The vaccine is also available to other citizens on a voluntary and self-paying basis.
Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease with symptoms such as a skin rash and itchy blisters. And it can be fatal in serious cases.
Since 1999, chickenpox vaccinations have been voluntary, and people had to pay for the vaccines themselves. Monitoring showed that the prevalence and seriousness of the disease have dropped greatly since then. Chickenpox vaccination was changed from one shot to two shots last year for a better preventive effect.
Meanwhile, the authority announced a trial of an information technology-based management system in Changning District to follow the whole process of vaccine purchase, storage, transport and use to ensure safety, accuracy and efficiency. The system also connects with the local residents’ health database.