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Health Ministry to include chickenpox vaccine in National Immunisation Programme by 2025

By Maria Weldali - Dec 17,2023 - Last updated at Dec 17,2023

According to figures released by the Department of Statistics, the number of chickenpox cases recorded in 2022 reached 6912 (JT file photo)

 

AMMAN — The Health Ministry is taking steps towards adding the chickenpox vaccine to the National Immunisation Programme by 2025, an official said on Sunday, expecting the  dose to be on healthcare centres’ shelves within the first half of next year. 

Director of the Communicable Diseases Directorate at the Health Ministry, Mohammad Hawarat, said that “the ministry is currently making its final arrangements relating to adding the pneumococcal vaccine to the National Vaccination Programme”, 

The pneumococcal vaccine is set to be available at the ministry’s health centres within the first half of 2024, Hawarat told The Jordan Times.

“The doses of the chickenpox vaccines that are to be given will be determined by a high commission comprising of the Health Ministry, the Royal Jordanian Medical Services, public health authorities, and other relevant medical institutions,” he said. 

Epidemiologist Abdul Rahman Maani said there is an “unprecedented” increase in demand for medicine that helps lessen the symptoms of chickenpox, indicating an increase in the number of infections.

According to figures released by the Department of Statistics, the number of chickenpox cases recorded in 2022 reached 6912. The number of chickenpox infections recorded across the country were 1732, 999, 3515 and 6211 cases, in 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.

Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease that leads to an acute fever and blistered rash mainly in children in childcare settings and schools, according to Maani. 

 “A chickenpox vaccine is used in a number of countries to suppress the disease... and first dose effectiveness is approximately 85 per cent.”

 

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