Chickenpox vaccine might be free after public consultation 5 months ago

Chickenpox vaccine might be free after public consultation

The vaccine is expected to be added to the childhood immunisation schedule.

The public are to be asked if they believe the chickenpox vaccine should be introduced into the routine childhood immunisation schedule.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) has said that they have launched a health technology assessment following a request from the Department of Health and the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC).

They noted that the vaccination is aimed to represent a good use of healthcare resources and cost saving.

Chickenpox is an infectious disease that is most common in children under the age of 10 and while it is usually mild, more serious illness can lead to hospitalisation.

The main symptoms of chickenpox include fever, itchy red spots, and loss of appetite.

The chickenpox virus often covers up within 2 weeks.

There is no cure for the virus, but there are medications that help ease the pain. Doctors suggest using paracetamol. However, you should not use ibuprofen because it can increase the risk of skin infections.


Cooling gels and ointments can help ease the itching. One of the best ones to use is calamine lotion.

Other ways to help ease symptoms include wearing cool clothes, staying hydrated as well as resting.

Read more about the chickenpox virus here.

Dr Conor Teljeur, Hiqa’s chief scientist told The Irish Independent: "Vaccines against chickenpox have been available for over 30 years.

“In Ireland, the vaccine is already recommended for non-immune individuals in certain risk groups.

“Many countries include vaccination against chickenpox in their childhood immunisation schedules; however, the type of vaccine given, the number of doses and the timing of the doses differ."

This new technology assessment will take a look at the clinical effectiveness, safety, cost effectiveness, budget impact, ethical and social aspects, and organisational changes that come with expanding the childhood immunisation schedule.

Hiqa also said that they want to hear from the Irish public on this topic before it is finalised and ask for feedback to be given before Monday, May 29, 2023.

The report will then be updated based on the feedback and will be subject to approval by the Board of HIQA.

You can learn more about the chickenpox vaccine here.

Related links:

Mum reveals clever hack that stops chickenpox from itching

Warning to Irish parents following chickenpox outbreak

Chickenpox vaccine will likely be added to childhood immunisation programme