Chickenpox deaths have declined 97 percent among people under 20, and 88 percent overall since the vaccine came on the market in 1995, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published this week in the journal Pediatrics. In fact, the chickenpox vaccine has been so effective that public health officials now foresee a potential elimination of deaths from the disease in the near future.
Before the chickenpox vaccine, approximately 13 children between one and four years old, and 16 children between five and nine died every year from complications of the disease. But since the single dose vaccine was introduced the number of childhood deaths from chickenpox has been drastically reduced. Only 3 children from each of those age groups died during the entire six years between 2002 and 2007. Nine out of ten of those deaths were preventable, occurring among those who could have been vaccinated, but werent.
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