GSK puts stop on varicella vaccines

The affected vaccines are Varilrix (varicella) and Priorix-Tetra (measles, mumps, rubella and varicella). 

Priorix-Tetra, was added to the National Immunisation Program (NIP) in June last year to allow children to complete their MMR schedule at 18 months, rather than at four years of age.

Varilrix is one of two brands of chicken pox vaccines on the high school immunisation program, with the other being MSD’s Varivax. 

A spokeswoman for the health department said it is working closely with GSK to ensure there is no disruption to supply for the NIP, and that GSK is assisting by directing existing stock to the program.

According to the spokeswoman, the supply issue relates to current batches in production not meeting GSK’s manufacturing criteria and standards, and as a precautionary measure the final release of all varicella containing vaccines has been put on hold until the completion of an investigation. She emphasised