Varicella vaccine is not routinely administered to children in many countries including the UK. Longitudinal data are lacking to inform optimal schedules. We report the prevalence of VZV infection at 5 years of age, cumulative incidence between 3 and 5 years and socio-demographic associations with risk of infection using longitudinal data on 12,509 children from the UK Millennium Cohort Study. VZV prevalence by 5 years was 76.9% [95% CI: 75.9%, 78.0%]. The cumulative incidence between 3 and 5 years was 32.2% [95% CI: 31.1%, 33.3%]. Risk of infection by 5 years was associated with higher maternal socio-economic status, larger household size and formal day-care attendance at 9 months and 3 years. If universal varicella immunisation were introduced in the UK, where 40% children have attended some formal day-care by 3 years, a schedule commencing early in the second year of life would be indicated.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.