Egypt to import 20K vaccines to combat chickenpox

CAIRO: The state-owned company for vaccines VACSERA will import 20,000 vaccines to combat chickenpox, after some infections were spotted, according to Youm7 Thursday.

A total of 25 students at Al-Nahda Primary School in Hihya village in Sharqiah governorate, northern Egypt, have been given compulsory leave for two weeks after they contracted the virus.

“Chickenpox vaccinations are available at high prices in the markets, reaching up to 300 EGP each one, prompting many countries not to list it among the compulsory vaccination programs,” Nabil el-Beblawy, head of VACSERA, told Youm7.

In March with 119 students in two primary schools contracted the disease in the Upper Egypt’s Sohag governorate, while some 32 found having the virus in the Red Sea governorate.

Chickenpox is transmitted via contact of bodily fluids as well as through the air, and appears as a rash on infected skin. It is caused by a virus called “Varicella zoster virus” or VZV; one of eight herpes viruses known to infect humans.

Most persons contract the virus before they reach 10 years old, according to the World Health Organization (WHO.)

The Health Minister’s aide Amr Qandil previously told Youm7 that 1,075 cases of chickenpox were reported in 2014, noting that 30,000 vaccine doses at a cost of 5.7 million EGP (around $746,000) will be released soon in pharmacies.

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