THE Government is looking at the possibility of introducing a vaccine against chickenpox, but it will be too late for one four-year-old boy.

Adam Taylor died earlier this month after contracting the illness.

His father, Mark Taylor, of Thorpe Willoughby, near Selby, is now calling for all children to be routinely vaccinated against the virus which, in rare cases, can be fatal.

One 13-month study in the UK and Irish Republic found there were six deaths and 112 cases of severe complications among children. Out of every 1,000 children affected, between two and five will need hospital treatment.

But some scientists argue that by vaccinating children against chicken pox there would be an increase in shingles in adults. Adults who have had chicken pox can later develop shingles if their immunity drops. But by having occasional contact with children who have chicken pox, their immune system is given a boost.

But for Mr Taylor, there can be no argument against vaccinating children.

He said Adam, who had cerebral palsy, contracted chicken pox on May 17. He and his ex-wife Carole took Adam to their local GP, who prescribed the usual treatments.

But by the following Friday, Adam had still not improved.

Mr Taylor, who was also speaking on behalf of his ex-wife, said: "He really was covered head to foot in spots and he was in distress. His back was so completely red you could not find a space."

Adam was taken to see his doctor again who immediately admitted him to York Hospital.

On Bank Holiday Monday, medical staff decided that Adam needed to be sedated because he was so distressed and also took the decision to place him on paediatric intensive care, not because they thought his life was in danger, but as a precautionary measure.

Because Adam needed to be in isolation, a bed could only be found for him in Newcastle, so he was taken there in an emergency ambulance.

Mr Taylor said Adam's condition then stabilised although there was still no improvement. However, both his lungs collapsed, and sadly, he died of pneumonitis - of which pneumonia is a variant - on Tuesday, June 10.

Mr Taylor said: "There should be a routine vaccination for chicken pox as there is for measles and rubella. I have heard of other children being very, very poorly with chicken pox."

A collection at Adam's funeral service raised about £400 and colleagues of Mr Taylor raised a further £120. The money will be split between The Press' Guardian Angels Appeal and the Sick Children's Trust which provides accommodation for parents when a child is in a hospital away from their home.