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.

PUBLIC HEALTH GOALS AND OBJECTIVES FOR VARICELLA CONTROL AND VACCINE COVERAGE

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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Tags: National Varicella, PUBLIC HEALTH, VARICELLA VACCINE

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