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Chickenpox Vaccine Proved 85% Effective

March 29, 2001

The chickenpox vaccine has proved 85% effective--or about as good as experts expected--in preventing the childhood disease, according to the most rigorous study yet of its real-world use, reported today in the New England Journal of Medicine. "It works under conditions of community use. Now everyone needs to use it, and chickenpox will become a thing of the past," said Dr. Jane Seward of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The vaccine worked even better in preventing the most severe cases of infection, warding off 97% of them. Before the advent of the vaccine, the United States suffered 4 million chickenpox infections and 100 deaths each year.

Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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