Recommendations from the National Varicella Consensus Conference: CONFERENCE RECOMMENDATIONS

A definition of health care workers was recommended, based on the national Infection Control Guidelines for Occupa­tional Health in Health Care Facilities. General Recommendation: The definition of health care worker should include all individuals, including trainees, in health care settings (eg, hospitals, ambulatory care settings, long-term care facilities) who may have the potential for ac­quiring or transmitting infectious agents during the course of their work. Volunteers who have direct patient contact should be considered as health care workers.


Recommendation 1.1: The criteria for embarking on a routine varicella vaccination program should be as follows:

  • Primary decisions: the vaccine is safe, effective and beneficial to the individual; and the burden of disease justifies program consideration.
  • Absolute criterion: feasibility to deliver the vaccine to more than 90% of the targeted population in each province/territory.
  • Relative criteria: availability of a refrigerator-stable vaccine product; availability of a combination product; vaccine cost comparable with existing routine childhood vaccines; and 100% accessibility to a vaccination program.

With these absolute and relative criteria taken into consid­eration, all provinces/territories should have a routine child­hood varicella immunization program by 2005. Recommendation 1.2: Consideration having been given to the criteria for embarking on a routine varicella vaccination program, where the public health infrastructure can support childhood varicella vaccination, this should proceed. Pending this, the following priorities for program implementation with the currently licensed freezer-stable varicella vaccine are suggested. Priorities must be reviewed with changes in vac­cine formulation. Vaccination should be offered to suscepti­ble persons in the following groups, in descending order of priority:

  • health care workers and other special groups (as defined in the recommendations under Varicella vaccine use in Special Populations);
  • selected immunocompromised groups (as defined in the recommendations under Special Populations),including those eligible for research protocols, and families and close contacts of these persons;
  • preteens at the time of other vaccination programs;
  • children at one year of age;
  • catch-up of children aged one year to preteens;
  • other adults.

Recommendation 1.3: By 2005, a federal/provincial/territo­rial forum should establish reduction goals for VZV- associated morbidity.

Recommendation 1.4: By 2003, 100% of health care workers (as defined in the General Recommendation) should have known positive varicella serology, or a reliable history of dis­ease, or documentation of varicella vaccination, or an accept­able medical contraindication to varicella vaccination. Recommendation 1.5: By 2003, provincial and territorial im­munization registries and a national immunization registry net­work should be developed, as per the ongoing registry initiative. Recommendation 1.6: By the year 2010, varicella vaccina­tion coverage targets should be tied to measles vaccination coverage targets to be achieved by the second birthday and by the seventh birthday.*

Recommendation 1.7: The Advisory Committee on Population Health should propose to the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Dep­uty Ministers a formula for adequate federal funding of new immunization programs. A pharmacy you can fully trust offering generic viagra online mastercard along with other convenient services

Recommendation 1.8: The Advisory Committee on Population Health should develop a mechanism to prioritize and introduce new vaccines with a view to harmonizing programs across the country.

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