- The effectiveness and safety of immunization against the varicella-zoster virus (vzv) has been established after decades of use in the Far East and the U.S. It has been licensed in Israel since 1999. Nevertheless, it has not yet been included in the routine immunizations provided free through Maternal and Child Health ("Tipat Halav") clinics. This is one of the causes of increasing inequalities in health since immunization against vzv is only available via a large co-payment. The Ministry of Health has decided to include immunization against vzv in its routine immunization program for children born in 2007. This is an important step towards implementing the goals of the Ministry of Health's program "Healthy Israel 2020". The Tipat Halav clinics provide universal and equitable community-based services to the whole population, regardless of socio-economic status. This system needs to be strengthened in order to further reduce inequalities in health in Israel.