Experts who are advising the government have said that the chickenpox vaccine should be made available to all children on the NHS.
The vaccine should be given to children when they are aged 1-year and again when they are 18 months old, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said.
The JVCI has recommended that older children should be included temporarily so they can catch up providing them with the chickenpox vaccine.
Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, chairman of the JCVI, said, “Chickenpox is well known, and most parents will probably consider it a common and mild illness among children.
“But for some babies, young children and even adults, chickenpox or its complications can be very serious, resulting in hospitalisation and even death.
“Adding the varicella vaccine to the childhood immunisation programme will dramatically reduce the number of chickenpox cases in the community, leading to far fewer of those tragic, more serious cases.
“We now have decades of evidence from the US and other countries showing that introducing this programme is safe, effective and will have a really positive impact on the health of young children.”