Immunogenicity and reactogenicity of a single dose of live attenuated varicella vaccine and a booster dose of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine given concomitantly at 12 years of age

Per Arne Parment, Anita Svahn, Ulla Rudén, Görel Bråkenhielm, Jann Storsaeter, Lena Akesson, Annika Linde
Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases 2003, 35 (10): 736-42
Universal varicella-zoster virus (VZV) childhood vaccination is still debated, but adult chickenpox may be severe. It could be prevented by vaccination of seronegative adolescents. This study aimed to determine the feasibility of coadministration of a VZV vaccine and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) booster at 12 y of age. Guardians of 1231 12-y-old pupils where asked about the history of chickenpox in their children. 190 had no chickenpox history and 12 of 62 of them lacked VZV antibodies. Additional history-negative children were also recruited. 199 history-positive children received only MMR and 98 history-negative children received an MMR vaccine and a VZV vaccine. Serum samples were drawn before vaccination and after 8 weeks. Viral antibodies were measured by immunofluorescence (VZV) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (VZV, MMR). All 184 history-positive children tested had VZV antibodies. 17/89 VZV-vaccinated and tested children (19%) lacked VZV antibodies before vaccination. 12 (71%) seroconverted after 1 dose. Cell-mediated immunity (CMI) against varicella was tested in 3/5 children who did not seroconvert after 1 dose of VZV vaccine. They seroconverted after a second dose and had measurable CMI. VZV vaccination did not affect the MMR response and there were no severe side-effects. A history of varicella infection, as reported by the guardian, is reliable, but a negative history was incorrect in 81% of the cases. This population of 12-y-old children may require 2 doses of VZV vaccine, at least when given simultaneously with the MMR vaccine.

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