What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
Its normal to have questions before you or your child gets a vaccine. Some common questions you may want to discuss with your healthcare provider include:
- When should my child or I get the chickenpox vaccine?
- What side effects should I expect?
- How does the chickenpox vaccine work?
- When should I schedule each dose of the chickenpox vaccine?
- How effective is the chickenpox vaccine?
- Is there any reason my child or I shouldnt get the chickenpox vaccine?
- What could happen if my child or I dont get the chickenpox vaccine?
Is There Anyone Who Should Not Get The Shingles Vaccine
The shingles vaccine is a live virus and, therefore, should not be given to anyone with a weakened immune system. This includes individuals who are being treated with radiation or chemotherapy or who are on steroid medications. The vaccine also should not be given to anyone who has had a life-threatening reaction to the ingredients in the vaccine, so talk to your doctor about your specific health situation.
Managing Fever After Immunisation
Common side effects following immunisation are usually mild and temporary . Side effects can be reduced by:
- drinking extra fluids and not overdressing if the person has a fever
- although routine use of paracetamol after immunisation is not recommended, if fever is present, paracetamol can be given — check the label for the correct dose or speak with your pharmacist, .
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Are Chickenpox And Shingles Serious Illnesses
The symptoms may be more severe in newborns, persons with weakened immune systems, and adults. Serious problems can occur and may include pneumonia , brain infection , and kidney problems. Many people are not aware that before a vaccine was available, approximately 10,600 persons were hospitalized, and 100 to 150 died, as a result of chickenpox in the U.S. every year.
What Are They Used For
Health care providers can usually diagnose chickenpox or shingles with a visual examination. Tests are sometimes ordered to check for immunity to the varicella zoster virus . You have immunity if you’ve had chickenpox before or have had the chickenpox vaccine. If you have immunity it means you can’t get chickenpox, but you can still get shingles later in life.
Tests may be done on people who don’t have or are unsure about immunity and are at higher risk of complications from VZV. These include:
- Newborns, if the mother is infected
- Teen and adults with symptoms of chickenpox
- People with HIV/AIDS or another condition that weakens the immune system
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People Who Should Be Immunised Against Chickenpox
People who benefit most from immunisation include:
- adults not immune to chickenpox , especially parents with young children and people in ‘at-risk’ occupations such as teachers, childcare workers and healthcare workers
- adults and young children who are not immune , and who live with people with weakened immune systems and no history of chickenpox.
What If Ive Never Had Chickenpox
Almost everyone born before 1980 tests positive for exposure to varicella, Orrange said. Thats why the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices considers people born before 1980 immune to the varicella virus. Even if you never broke out in the telltale rash, if youre 38 years old or older, you almost certainly have the virus lying dormant in your system.
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What Everyone Should Know About The Shingles Vaccine
Shingles vaccination is the only way to protect against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , the most common complication from shingles. CDC recommends that healthy adults 50 years and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix , separated by 2 to 6 months, to prevent shingles and the complications from the disease. Your doctor or pharmacist can give you Shingrix as a shot in your upper arm.
Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and PHN. Two doses of Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and PHN. Protection stays above 85% for at least the first four years after you get vaccinated.
Can You Get Shingles After Being Vaccinated
Shingles is a viral infection. It presents with a rash followed by an episode of intense pain in the infected area. This is caused by the virus called varicella zoster. This virus also causes chickenpox. If a child has had chickenpox, the virus may not completely go away, lie dormant in the body and come back years later as shingles. Older individuals and immunocompromised individuals are more likely to develop shingles. The shingles vaccine is generally recommended for those older than 50 years of age and immunocompromised individuals .
The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved two vaccines to effectively prevent shingles: Zostavax and Shingrix. Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia . Two doses of Shingrix are more than 90 percent effective at preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia. The vaccine is more than 85 percent effective for at least the first four years after vaccination. It is possible to get shingles after being vaccinated since no vaccine is 100 percent effective. However, the vaccine can considerably reduce the risk and intensity of shingles episodes.
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When Should I See My Doctor
Most patients seek medical help because the pain and burning feel so peculiar. We usually see patients within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of symptoms and thats the best time to begin treatment. The later you begin treatment for shingles, the greater the chance you will develop complications from the illness.
Lesions on the eyes or face can affect the nerves around your eye and the eye muscles, so seeing an ophthalmologist quickly is crucial to avoid complications that can affect your vision.
Reasons For Chickenpox Immunisation
Immunisation can prevent serious medical complications. For children who have not had chickenpox, the vaccine can help protect them against serious complications associated with chickenpox and protect them from developing shingles later in life. Immunised children who get chickenpox generally have a much milder form of the disease. They have fewer skin lesions, a lower fever and recover more quickly. Research shows that two doses of chickenpox vaccine in children provides increased protection and reduces the risk of chickenpox occurring at a later time. The government funds one free dose of a chickenpox-containing vaccine and a parent can purchase a second dose, on prescription. Immunisation against chickenpox is provided free of charge to children under the National Immunisation Program Schedule. The dose is a combined vaccine containing protection against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella given at 18 months of age. In Victoria, immunisation against chickenpox is free for:
- children at 18 months — immunisation against chickenpox is given as the combination MMRV vaccine. Children who have had chickenpox should still receive the combination vaccine
- young people up to and including 19 years — free catch-up vaccines are available for all young people who have not been fully immunised.
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Who Can Have The Shingles Vaccination
Shingles vaccination is available to everyone aged 70 to 79.
When you’re eligible, you can have the shingles vaccination at any time of year.
The shingles vaccine is not available on the NHS to anyone aged 80 or over because it seems to be less effective in this age group.
Read more about who can have the shingles vaccine.
Shingles Vaccination What You Should Know:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends shingles vaccine for people 60 years of age and older. This is a one-time vaccination to prevent shingles. There is no maximum age for getting the shingles vaccine.
Anyone 60 years of age or older should get the shingles vaccine, regardless of whether they recall having had chickenpox or not. Studies show that more than 99% of Americans ages 40 and older have had chickenpox, even if they dont remember getting the disease.
Your risk for getting shingles begins to rise around age 50. However, shingles vaccine is only recommended for persons age 60 and older because the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine have only been studied in this age group.
Even if you have had shingles, you can still receive the shingles vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease. There is no specific time that you must wait after having shingles before receiving the shingles vaccine. The decision on when to get vaccinated should be made with your healthcare provider. Generally, a person should make sure that the shingles rash has disappeared before getting vaccinated.
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Wait Did You Say Theres A Vaccine For Chickenpox
Yes! It was added to the mix of common shots for kids in the mid-1990s. The CDC guidelines recommend the first dose somewhere between 12 and 15 months with the second dose between 4 and 6 years. If you missed that boat and still havent had chickenpox, anyone 13 and older can get their two doses anytime, as long as theyre at least 28 days apart. Once a grim rite of passage, chickenpox is now “extremely uncommon,” Dr. Parsons says, thanks to vaccination.
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What Do The Results Mean
If you have symptoms and results show VZV antibodies or the virus itself, it’s likely you have chickenpox or shingles. Your diagnosis of either chickenpox or shingles will depend on your age and specific symptoms. If your results show antibodies or the virus itself and you don’t have symptoms, you either once had chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine.
If you are diagnosed with an infection and are in a high-risk group, your health care provider may prescribe antiviral medicines. Early treatment can prevent serious and painful complications.
Most healthy children and adults with chickenpox will recover from chickenpox within a week or two. Home treatment can help relieve symptoms. More serious cases may be treated with antiviral medicines. Shingles may also be treated with antiviral medicines as well as pain relievers.
If you have questions about your results or your child’s results, talk to your health care provider.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
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Why Is The Chickenpox Vaccine Recommended
Chickenpox used to be common in the US, causing many hospitalizations and even deaths. Since the vaccine was introduced in 1995, it has prevented millions of infections every year. It prevents severe illness in almost all kids who are vaccinated. It’s also very effective in preventing mild illness. Vaccinated kids who do get chickenpox generally have a mild case.
If a person with no immunity to the virus is exposed to someone with chickenpox or shingles, they are likely to get infected because the virus is so contagious. Giving the vaccine within 3 to 5 days after exposure can help to prevent the infection.
Why It Is Used
- Babies can receive the vaccine along with some other standard shots that are given at 12 to 15 months of age. If your province recommends two doses, the second dose should be given at 18 months or before entering school at the latest.
- Children ages 12 months through 12 years can receive the vaccine at any time.
- Healthy adolescents and young adults aged 13 and older should receive two doses of the vaccine 4 to 8 weeks apart.
- Adults who have not had chickenpox should also receive two doses of vaccine. The vaccine is especially recommended for the following adults:
- People who work in settings where they are likely to come in contact with people with chickenpox . Sometimes employers require proof of immunity to or vaccination for chickenpox.
- Non-pregnant women who can have children. Women who have not had chickenpox or the vaccine are at risk for complications of chickenpox during pregnancy.
- Family members of people with impaired immune systems. This protects them from having chickenpox and thus protects their family member who has an impaired immune system.
- People who travel outside Canada and the United States. In some countries , chickenpox is a disease of adults.
You can keep track of when your child received vaccines using the National Childhood Immunization Record .
Chickenpox vaccine is not recommended for:
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Whats The Difference Between Chickenpox And Shingles
Adults can develop shingles if theyve already had chickenpox. Also called herpes zoster, shingles is a reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox. After you recover from chickenpox, the virus doesnt entirely disappear it lies dormant in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. When it springs into action again as a painful skin rash, thats shingles.
This time, the pain will likely come before the rash some people only experience the pain without any visible symptoms. Like chickenpox, shingles usually isnt life-threatening, but it can cause complications, including neurological problems, skin infections and eye infections that lead to vision loss.
What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Shingles
Signs and symptoms of shingles typically occur over one side of the face or body and may include:
- Pain, which can vary in intensity
- Burning sensation, numbness or tingling, and itching
- Raised red rash, which usually appears a few days after pain
- Multiple blisters, which appear in a stripe pattern and may contain fluid
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What Is The Treatment For Shingles
Treatment is most effective when begun within 72 hours of the appearance of a rash.
- Cool compresses
- Medicated lotions to reduce pain and itching
- Numbing creams
- Prescription painkillers, such as codeine, for intense pain
- Antiseizure medications
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Gershon was not involved in the research, but she wrote a on it that the journal published in conjunction with the study. That the varicella vaccine prevents not only varicella but zoster as well is an exciting dual benefit from the varicella vaccine, further improving the health of children by immunization, she wrote. Herpes zoster is the proper name for shingles.
The study, which was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mined the medical records of more than 6 million children to try to tease out an answer of whether the varicella vaccine would protect against shingles, or potentially increase the risk of developing the painful condition.
Shingles is a delayed complication of varicella infection. The virus hides in the body of people who have had chickenpox. Normally the immune system keeps it in check. But the virus can reactivate, causing painful rashes that can lead to long-term nerve pain. It is estimated that about one-third of people who had chickenpox will go on to have at least one bout of shingles.
While the condition is more common in older adults whose immune systems are waning, children too can develop shingles.
The varicella vaccine is made with a live but weakened varicella virus, which can also lie dormant and later reactivate to cause shingles.
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What To Know About Shingles And The Chickenpox Vaccine
The chickenpox vaccine is not causing a surge or epidemic of shingles. In fact, in addition to reducing your children’s risk of developing chickenpox, it can likely reduce their risk of developing shingles later in life.
Weinmann S. Incidence and clinical characteristics of herpes zoster among children in the varicella vaccine era, 20052009. Journal of Infection Diseases. 2013 208:1859-68.
- Hales, Craig M. Examination of Links Between Herpes Zoster Incidence and Childhood Varicella Vaccination. Ann Intern Med. 2013 159:739-745.
- Leung J. Herpes zoster incidence among insured persons in the United States, 1993-2006: evaluation of the impact of varicella vaccination. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2011 52:332-340.
- Russell ML. Shingles in Alberta: before and after publicly funded varicella vaccination. Vaccine. Volume 32, Issue 47, 29 October 2014, Pages 63196324.
Can The Chickenpox Vaccine Cause Shingles Later In Life
Bypublished 22 May 14
The rate of the painful skin condition shingles appears to be rising in at least some parts of the United States, leading many to wonder why.
Although shingles is related to chickenpox the varicella zoster virus causes both experts say the rise in shingles is not linked with the use of the chickenpox vaccine.
In fact, children who receive a chickenpox vaccination have a much lower risk of getting shingles later in life than those who are not immunized, said Dr. William Schaffner, doctor of preventative medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and a leading infectious disease expert.
Although chickenpox vaccines do contain a weakened version of the live virus, which can reactivate later in life and cause shingles, this is very rare, he said. “Nearly 99 percent of children who receive the vaccine will not get chickenpox at all,” Schaffner told Live Science. “The remaining 1 percent who do get it will get a much milder version of it. Therefore, a vast majority of people receiving the immunization will not develop shingles later in life.”
Once someone recovers from chickenpox, the virus remains dormant, but can reactivate years later, causing shingles, which is characterized by a painful rash, often on one side of the face or body. About half of all cases of shingles occur in people ages 60 and older, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention .
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