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Australia to introduce a new combined vaccine against 4 diseases for kids


09:32, March 28, 2013

CANBERRA, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government will introduce a new combined measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, the MMRV vaccine, for kids, Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek announced on Thursday.

The innovative combination vaccine replaces both the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine currently given to four year olds, and the varicella vaccine for chickenpox given to 18 month olds. It will be available from July 1 this year.

"The new combination vaccine protects against four common childhood illnesses in a single vaccine, reducing the number of vaccinations for children," Minister Plibersek said in a statement. "It means one needle rather than two."

This new vaccine comes as a new edition of the Australian Immunization Handbook, developed by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization, and approved by the National Health Medical Research Council.

It introduces new vaccines, including new and updated recommendations on vaccine use, the importance of vaccination during pregnancy and the latest National Immunization Program schedules.

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