Province expands child vaccine program

Rotavirus, chicken pox and hepatitis A boosters to be available Jan. 1

Three new vaccines will be available to B.C. kids in the new year.

The rotavirus vaccine, a varicella (chicken pox) booster, and hepatitis A vaccine for aboriginal children, both on and off reserve, will be added to the B.C. childhood immunization schedule beginning Jan. 1.

The rotavirus vaccine is administered at two and four months and protects infants from diarrhea and vomiting caused by the rotavirus.

“Parents can be assured that these vaccines are safe and effective and will prevent serious health problems in the future,” said Dr. Monika Naus, medical director of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, in a press release.

Total purchase costs for these vaccines, recommended by centre, are about $3.1 million per year.