Doctors unsure about 2nd varicella shot

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 26, 2007

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Family physicians and pediatricians widely support the one-dose varicella vaccine regimen but are not as strongly behind the two-dose approach, according to a study in the February Pediatrics.

Researchers from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2005 mailed a survey to 1,100 physicians from each specialty. The survey was done before the agency's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in June 2006 changed the schedule to include a second shot.

Of the 610 eligible physicians who responded, 94% recommended a single dose in their practice, and 79% had seen at least one case of this illness in those who had received it. Most, or 68%, found the rate of breakthrough illness acceptable, and 38% felt a second dose should be administered, although this number increased if the ACIP would recommend it. If this happened, 65% of pediatricians and 39% of family physicians said they would support the addition.

The authors concluded that physician ambivalence to the need for a second shot might be a barrier to implementing the more recent ACIP recommendation.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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