Image: ©Hollandse Hoogte

Vaccination against chickenpox

Chickenpox (varicella) is a widespread highly contagious disease. Young children generally get mild symptoms such as vesicular dermatomal rash, fever, and malaise. Serious complications can occur in adults, such as pneumonia. Someone who has had chickenpox normally becomes lifelong immune. In the European part of the Netherlands, almost all children get a mild form of the disease before reaching the age of five, with the disease consequently hardly ever occurring in adults. The situation on the BES islands is different: the virus is in circulation much less there. Consequently, not all children get chickenpox at a young age and there are regular outbreaks in which adults also become ill, sometimes seriously. The Health Council of the Netherlands therefore recommends adding vaccination against chickenpox to the National Immunization Programme on the BES islands. People who have not yet had chickenpox and would like to protect themselves against it, can be offered a monovalent chickenpox vaccine. The Council does not recommend introducing vaccination in the European part of the Netherlands because it would yield little in the way of health benefits, given the mild form in which the disease occurs here.

A short video has also been made about this advisory report (subtitles are in English).

The video is also available with subtitles in papiamento. Go to: Vakunashon kontra Sendepaga.