Featured research: exploring new chickenpox vaccine

We’re looking for families to take part in a new research aiming to study whether a new vaccine can better prevent chickenpox.


New vaccine

Chickenpox is a common childhood illness caused by the chickenpox (varicella) virus. It is a highly contagious disease spreading from person to person easily. Currently, the chickenpox vaccine is not part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule in the UK. Only those in contact with someone who is particularly vulnerable to chickenpox or its complications will be offered the vaccine.

GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals’ (GSK) varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, Varilrix™ is a chickenpox vaccine given to children all over the world. This vaccine also contains Human Serum Albumin (HSA) to help stabilise the vaccine, extending its shelf life.  In order to limit the use of animal or human-derived products, GSK have removed the HSA from the new Varilrix™ vaccine. This new vaccine was initially approved in 2013 and is currently available in several countries including Canada, New Zealand, Australia, France and Spain.

Taking part

Our study aims to look at the safety and effectiveness of the Varilrix vaccine. We are now recruiting children in the UK who are:

  • Aged 12 to 23 months old and in good health
  • Have not previously been vaccinated against chicken pox
  • Have been vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)

Children will have an equal chance of being randomised to get two doses of the Varilrix vaccine made without HSA or two doses of Varilrix vaccine made with HSA in this study.

If you would like to get your child to take part or you would like to learn more about this study, please visit our website, or contact us on 023 8120 4989 or UHS.RecruitmentCRF@nhs.net. We will arrange for a member of the study team to get in touch to provide further information and check that your child is eligible to participate in the study.