Slovakia lacks a chickenpox vaccine

It is unclear when deliveries will be restored.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

Parents have temporarily lost the possibility of vaccinating their children against chickenpox. Pharmacies and also producers have confirmed the lack of a vaccine on the market, the TASR newswire reported.

Doctors in Slovakia use the combined Priorix-Tetra vaccine, which protects children from measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox. Another vaccine, Varivax, is used only against chickenpox.

The former is often used instead of Priorix, which is part of the mandatory vaccination scheme, but does not protect children from chickenpox.

The Health Ministry stated that the producer of Priorix-Tetra has asked for its removal due to temporary unavailability.

“We talk to the producer, who explained that the unavailability of the vaccine was caused by the problems in the production process,” ministry’s spokesperson Zuzana Eliášová told TASR.

It is not clear yet when supplies will be restored.

“The GSK company is currently dealing in Slovakia with a limited availability of the combined vaccine against measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox, Priorix-Tetra,” confirmed the company’s spokesperson Miriam Kejzlarová, as quoted by TASR. “Vaccination against chickenpox is not mandatory in Slovakia. Our company has already notified the respective authorities of this problem.”

Problems related to the Varivax vaccine has also been reported in the Slovak market since July.

“We expect the Varivax vaccine to be available again in January 2018,” said Anna Bezáková, medicine director of its producer, Merck Sharp & Dohme, as quoted by TASR.

Some parents are trying to solve the problem by purchasing the vaccines in Austria, TASR reported.

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