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Varicella jabs recommended for many GP practice staff

The Government has recommended giving the chicken pox vaccine to about 10 per cent of health care workers in GP practices and hospitals.

The Chief Medical Officer said the vaccine was recommended for non-immune health care workers who had direct patient contact, including GP receptionists.

Those with a negative or uncertain history of chicken pox or shingles infection should have a blood test to check their immunity and only those without varicella antibodies should be given the jab.

The Department of Health estimated about 10 per cent of health care workers would need the vaccine and added no new funding would be made available for acquiring the vaccine as the benefits were likely to be cost neutral and possibly save money on the PCT's overall budget.

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