Varicella prevention in Costa Rica: impact of a one-dose schedule universal vaccination

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2017 Mar;16(3):229-234. doi: 10.1080/14760584.2017.1247700. Epub 2016 Oct 27.


To describe the impact following a 1-dose Varicella vaccination schedule introduced in Costa Rica in September 2007. Areas covered: This is a retrospective review using epidemiologic surveillance national databases of varicella cases and hospitalizations, period 2000-2015. We analyzed age-related varicella incidence cases and hospitalization trends before and after the vaccine introduction. Expert commentary: Varicella vaccine coverage among children 16 months age increased from 76% in 2008 to 95% in 2015. During this period Costa Rica reached a 73.8% reduction of Varicella reported cases and 85.9% reduction of hospitalizations in the general population. Among children under 5 years of age, that reduction was 79.1% and 87%, respectively. Varicella complications in hospitalized patients decreased 98%, from n = 53 in 2008 to n = 1 in 2014. After 8-years post implementation of a 1-dose schedule of universal varicella vaccination, a dramatic overall disease reduction in incidence, hospitalizations and complicated cases has been observed in all age groups.

Keywords: Central America; Costa Rica; Latin America; Varicella vaccine; impact; prevention; vaccine introduction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Chickenpox / epidemiology*
  • Chickenpox / prevention & control*
  • Chickenpox Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Chickenpox Vaccine / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Costa Rica / epidemiology
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Incidence
  • Infant


  • Chickenpox Vaccine