Who Should Not Have The Chickenpox Vaccine
- Babies less than 1 year old.
- People with weak immune systems and/or people who are taking drugs to suppress their immune system.
- Those who are pregnant. The chickenpox vaccine contains a very weak form of the virus and such vaccines are generally not recommended in pregnancy because of concern that the vaccine may be passed to the fetus. However there has been no harm to the babies born to mothers who got this vaccine during pregnancy.
- People who have had a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine should not get it again unless seen by a specialist and vaccinated in a special clinic that can control serious reactions.
Persons New To Canada
Health care providers who see persons newly arrived in Canada should review the immunization status and update immunization for these individuals as necessary. People from tropical regions are more likely to be susceptible to varicella and should be a priority for varicella immunization. Refer to Immunization of Persons New to Canada in Part 3 for additional information about varicella vaccination of people who are new to Canada.
Cant Chickenpox Be Serious For Some Children
Yes, it can. For most, its a mild illness, as Dr Philippa says but, for a very small number of children , chickenpox can lead to severe complications. Complications of chickenpox, says Dr Philippa, include secondary bacterial skin infections or, more rarely, lung infection and inflammation and brain inflammation .
The children most at risk of chickenpox complications are those with compromised immune systems and very newborn babies .
NHS statistics for 2108-93 show that, in that year, 4,094 children under 14 with a diagnosis of varicella were taken to hospital, with 143 of those treated for meningitis, encephalitis or pneumonia. Childhood deaths from chickenpox range between 4 and 9 a year.2
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Are There Different Types Of Chickenpox Vaccines
In the United States, there are two varicella vaccines authorized for use:
- Varivax®: contains only varicella vaccine. It can be used in children ages 12 months and up, as well as in older children and adults.
- ProQuad®: contains a combination of measles, mumps, rubella and varicella vaccines. This is sometimes called MMRV. This is usually only used in children ages 4 through 6.
Are There People Who Should Not Get A Chickenpox Shot
Anyone who is moderately to severely ill when a chickenpox shot is scheduled should wait until the illness passes before getting the shot. Also, anyone who had an allergic reaction to the first shot should not get the second shot.
Other people who should not get the shot include:
- Pregnant women, because the vaccine’s effect on the fetus is not known
- Anyone allergic to gelatin a gelatin-free version of the varicella vaccine is available.
- Anyone allergic to neomycin
- Anyone with an immune system disease
- Anyone receiving high doses of steroids
- Anyone being treated for cancer with X-rays, drugs, or chemotherapy
- Anyone who had a transfusion or received blood products within five months prior to the shot
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Are There Side Effects Associated With The Chickenpox Vaccine
All medicines have potential side effects. But the side effects associated with the varicella vaccine are generally mild. The most common are pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site. A small percentage of people develop a mild rash, usually around the spot where the shot was given. Severe side effects are very rare.
Do Kids Still Get Chicken Pox
This article was published more than 9 years ago. Some information may no longer be current.
The question: Do kids still get chicken pox? What do I do if my daughter gets it?
The answer: In the span of a decade, chicken pox has gone from being one of the most common pediatric conditions to the point now where new, young pediatricians may have never seen a case!
This is a result of a vaccine that has been available in Canada since 1998 and is now routinely given to infants in all provinces and territories. I believe that this has been a good thing for Canadian children. While it is true that chicken pox, also known as varicella, usually causes a mild illness, the complications from this infection are common and can be severe.
In my clinic, we used to see skin infections and subsequent scarring quite regularly following a chicken-pox infection. On occasion, we would see infants who developed inflammation of the brain and nerves that would occur one or two weeks after the varicella rash. Most frightening were the infections that occurred in children receiving chemotherapy for leukemia.
These children required transfer to a children’s hospital intensive care unit for management of their overwhelming infection. I am pleased to report that none of my patients ever died from chicken pox, but deaths do occur.
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How Can Boots Help
The NHS currently offers a chickenpox vaccination to certain vulnerable groups, protecting those who are most at risk.
The Boots Chickenpox Vaccination Service is available to those seeking protection from the chickenpox virus, including those who are eligible through the NHS but choose a private vaccination service.
If our Chickenpox Vaccination Service is suitable, you will receive two vaccinations at a minimum of six weeks apart. If you, or your child, had a first dose of chickenpox vaccination at a different provider, you can still have your second dose at Boots, providing you meet all the eligibility criteria for the Boots service.
So Why Would You Not Vaccinate Your Child If You Can Afford It
Its a difficult one, this because were balancing one part of the population against another .
Varicella generally causes only mild illness if caught as a child but not always . Its much more likely to cause serious illness and complications if caught as an adult. So, while vaccinating children can protect them from the risk of serious illness , the worry is that, if every child is vaccinated, it could mean more adults get both chickenpox and shingles and that they wouldnt recover nearly as well.
To complicate matters further, it has to be said that some experts are now beginning to think that the worry about shingles may have been overstated.4,5 I think it is reasonable to say that the shingles risk may have been overestimated in the UK, says Dr Philippa, and it is being looked at again by the JCVI.
Until the JCVI says different, though if indeed it does Dr Philippa advises following the NHS recommendation that immunisation is not required. But she recognises that, as the vaccine is available privately, it is up to parents to decide.
As chickenpox tends to be more severe in adults, she adds, perhaps one option is to wait and only pay for the vaccine if your child reaches puberty without yet having had chickenpox.
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Concerns About Side Effects
If a side effect following immunisation is unexpected, persistent or severe, or if you are worried about yourself or your child’s condition after immunisation, see your doctor or immunisation nurse as soon as possible or go directly to a hospital. It is important to seek medical advice if you are unwell, as this may be due to other illness, rather than because of the immunisation. Immunisation side effects may be reported to the Victorian vaccine safety service, the central reporting service in Victoria on 1300 882 924, select option one. You can discuss with your immunisation provider how to report adverse events in other states or territories.
Why Is The Chickenpox Vaccine Important
Chickenpox is very contagious it spreads easily from person to person. And while its usually mild, it can cause serious complications like pneumonia . Certain people like infants, people with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women are at increased risk for complications.
The chickenpox virus can also cause shingles later in life. Shingles is a disease that causes a painful skin rash and can affect the nervous system. Children who get the chickenpox vaccine may have a lower risk of developing shingles later on and those who do get shingles often have a milder case than someone who has had chickenpox.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent chickenpox. And when enough people get vaccinated against chickenpox, the entire community is less likely to get it. So when you and your family get vaccinated, you help keep yourselves and your community healthy.
Chickenpox is caused by a virus. Symptoms of chickenpox include:
- A red, itchy skin rash with blisters
- Not feeling hungry
Chickenpox usually spreads when a person touches chickenpox or shingles blisters or if they breathe in the virus. You can breathe in the virus after someone with chickenpox or shingles scratches their blisters, which releases the virus into the air.
Its also possible to get chickenpox from breathing in tiny droplets from people who have it that get into the air after they breathe or talk. Learn more about chickenpox.
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The first study followed 322 children for four years. For the second study, the group looked at medical records of nearly 6.4 million children under the age of 18, calculating rates of shingles over 12 years.
They did see a higher rate of shingles among vaccinated 1-year olds as compared to unvaccinated children. But that difference quickly reversed. Among 2- and 3-year olds, there wasnt really a marked difference between the vaccinated and unvaccinated children. By age 4, the rates of shingles among unvaccinated children started to climb among vaccinated children, it declined slightly and then remained at a low and relatively stable rate.
The reason for the earlier shingles rate among 1-year-olds? They were being exposed to varicella virus before the unvaccinated children were. If they hadnt ever had chickenpox then they werent going to be likely to get shingles, Weinmann said of the unvaccinated 1-year olds.
But given the highly infectious nature of the varicella virus, that quickly changed, as the rates among older unvaccinated children showed. In the era before the varicella vaccine came on the market, virtually everyone contracted chickenpox in childhood the CDC estimated that every year about 4 million children were infected.
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?
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Who Should Get The Chickenpox Vaccine
- Children should get 2 shots for chickenpox: the first when they are 12 to 15 months old and a second booster shot when they are 4 to 6 years old . In some provinces/territories, the second dose is given at 18 months old.
- Children who have had chickenpox before one year of age may not stay immune and should receive the vaccine at the recommended times indicated above.
- People who have had chickenpox after they are 1 year of age do not need to get the vaccine. But if they do get the vaccine, it will not hurt them.
- Teens and adults up to age 50 who have not had chickenpox or the vaccine should get 2 shots, given at least 6 weeks apart.
- Women planning for pregnancy who have not had chickenpox or the vaccine should receive the 2 shots at least 4 weeks before getting pregnant.
Who Should Get The Chicken Pox Vaccine
The chicken pox vaccine is part of the routine vaccinations given across the country, but when your kid receives it depends on your provinces program schedule. In all the provinces and territories, except for Ontario and Nunavutwhere your kid would get the shot at 15 monthsthe first dose is given at 12 months. The timing of the second dose variesfor example, if youre from Quebec or Saskatchewan, the second dose would be administered at 18 months. If you live in Manitoba, shot number two is given between ages four and six. You can find your schedule at CANImmunize.ca.
Both doses of the vaccine are publicly funded across Canada, and Nicole Le Saux, professor of infectious diseases at the University of Ottawa and chair of the Canadian Paediatric Societys Infectious Diseases Committee, says all kids should be vaccinated, except for a few instances where its not recommended. We dont give it to people who have had bone marrow transplants people who have immunodeficiency problems, Le Saux says. This is because the vaccine is liveits a weakened version of the virus, and those with weakened immune systems cant produce the antibodies to fight it.
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Persons With Chronic Diseases
Asplenia or hyposplenia
Susceptible hyposplenic or asplenic individuals should receive 2 doses of univalent varicella vaccine, at least 3 months apart.
Chronic renal disease and patients on dialysis
Varicella vaccine is recommended for susceptible individuals with chronic renal disease or undergoing dialysis. Two doses of univalent varicella vaccine may be given, at least 3 months apart.
People with conditions such as autism spectrum disorders or demyelinating disorders, including multiple sclerosis should receive all routinely recommended immunizations, including varicella-containing vaccine.
Chronic lung disease
Varicella immunization should be a priority for people with cystic fibrosis because they are at increased risk of complications from varicella infection, which may cause a transient worsening of lung function. Two doses of univalent varicella vaccine may be given, at least 3 months apart.
Chronic inflammatory diseases
Individuals with autoimmune disease not treated with immunosuppressive drugs are not considered significantly immunocompromised and should receive varicella immunization following consultation with their physician. Some rheumatic disease modifying agents such as hydroxychloroquine, sulfasalazine, or auranofin are not considered immunosuppressive, for the purposes of live vaccine administration.
Conditions requiring chronic salicylate therapy
Who Is The Boots Chickenpox Vaccination Service Suitable For
The service is suitable for both adults and children aged between one and 65 years inclusive at the time of the first vaccination.
The service is not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone with a weakened immune system, or anyone who has had an allergic reaction to any previous vaccination. The service is also not suitable for anyone who has received the MMR vaccine in the previous four weeks. Your pharmacist will check suitability during the consultation.
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How Can I Manage My Childs Symptoms After Immunization
No matter your childs age, it is normal for them to experience some common, mild and temporary symptoms after immunization.
Here are a few tips to manage these mild symptoms:
Severe allergic reactions after immunization are rare, occurring at an estimated annual rate of only one to ten per one million doses of vaccine administered, and can be treated. Our nurses will ask that you stay with your child, in the immunization clinic, for at least 15 minutes after your child receives their immunizations. For the dose that your child receives in school, the nurse will also require your child to stay for at least 15 minutes after their immunization. This will allow the nurse to identify and treat any immediate allergic reaction that could occur.
If you are concerned about any side effects your child is experiencing after immunization, dial for Health Link to speak to a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If your child is experiencing severe shortness of breath, call 911.
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.
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Other Reported Adverse Events And Conditions
HZ has been reported after varicella immunization. The risk of developing HZ is 4-fold to 12-fold lower in vaccinated as compared with unvaccinated children under 10 years of age who have had wild-type varicella. Severity of HZ has also shown to be reduced in vaccinated children compared to children with a history of wild-type VZV infection. The risk of HZ after vaccination with MMRV vaccine is unknown.
Transmission of vaccine virus
Transmission of vaccine strain virus from a healthy vaccine recipient is very rare. There have been few documented cases, all associated with a rash in the vaccine recipient.
What Is The Chickenpox Vaccine
The chickenpox vaccine is a shot that can protect nearly anyone who receives the vaccine from catching chickenpox. It’s also called the varicella vaccine, because chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. The vaccine is made from a live but weakened, or attenuated, virus.
Viruses that have been attenuated are less virulent than viruses that are not. Although the virus in the chickenpox vaccine is generally incapable of causing a disease, it still stimulates a response from the body’s immune system. That response is what gives someone who’s had a shot for chickenpox immunity or protection from the illness.
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