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Varicella post-exposure prophylaxis in children with cancer: urgent need for a randomised controlled trial
  1. Jessica Bate1,2,
  2. Julia Chisholm2,
  3. Roderick Skinner3,
  4. Judy Breuer4,
  5. Mary Ramsay5,
  6. Keith Wheatley6,
  7. Sophie Hambleton7,
  8. Paul T Heath1
  1. 1Division of Clinical Sciences, St Georges University of London, London, UK
  2. 2Children and Young People’s Unit, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Sutton, UK
  3. 3Department of Paediatric and Adolescent Oncology, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
  4. 4Department of Virology, University College, London, UK
  5. 5Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency, London, UK
  6. 6Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  7. 7Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jessica Bate, Department of Clinical Sciences, St George's, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK; jbate{at}sgul.ac.uk

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We welcome the interest of Samuelson et al1 in our work on prevention of varicella in children with cancer.2 However, they misrepresent our method for estimating the incidence of varicella zoster virus (VZV) exposure requiring post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which did not rely on consultant recollection. As described in detail in our paper, this was achieved by painstaking scrutiny of varicella zoster immunoglobulin …

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