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Toddlers to get free chickenpox jab

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/06/2017

© Getty Images Chickenpox vaccinations will soon be free for toddlers across New Zealand.

Parents of children who turn 15 months old on or after July 1 won't have to pay for the jab which can protect against the common childhood disease.

"The few who do still catch the disease despite being immunised will be protected from its most severe effects," Health minister Jonathan Coleman said.

Those can include scarring, skin infections, pneumonia, eye damage, brain swelling and kidney problems.

Australia and the US have seen major reductions in hospitalisations for chickenpox complications since including the vaccine in immunisation schedules.

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