Varicella Vaccine/ChickenPox Vaccine

It’s been on my mind for a while whether I should give the “ChickenPox Vaccine” or in medical terms “Varicella Vaccine”, to Amelia.
I have done a lot of research,and spoken to our new GP regarding it,and have decided to go ahead. Amelia had her MMR vaccine today,so I need to wait a minimum of 4 weeks before she can have it,as both are “live vaccines”, and cannot be had together. She is due her Hib Booster in 4 weeks (13 month immunisation), so I will hold off until a few weeks after that.I just hope she doesn’t get Chicken Pox between now and then.
The chickenpox (varicella) vaccine provides protection against the varicella zoster virus that causes chickenpox.

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The chickenpox vaccine is not part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule. The chickenpox (varicella) vaccine provides protection against the varicella zoster virus that causes chickenpox and shingles.The vaccine is available to children from 12 months plus. The vaccine is currently only offered to people who are particularly vulnerable to chickenpox.Chickenpox is a common childhood infection. In most cases the symptoms are mild and complications are rare. Almost all children develop immunity to chickenpox after infection, so only catch it once. The disease can be more severe in adults.
Chickenpox can be very serious for an unborn baby when a pregnant woman catches the infection. It can cause a range of serious birth defects as well as severe disease in the baby when it is born.
The chickenpox vaccine contains a small amount of the live weakened varicella zoster virus.

The vaccine causes your immune system to produce antibodies that will help protect against chickenpox & shingles.It has been shown that 9 out of 10 children vaccinated with a single dose will develop immunity against chickenpox. A two-dose schedule is now recommended for all, as it gives a better immune response.(HSE).Two doses are given with four to eight weeks between the doses.
The most common side effect of the chickenpox vaccine is soreness and redness around the site of the injection.

This side effect develops in around one in five children and one in four teenagers and adults.

A mild rash may occur in 1 in 10 children and 1 in 20 adults.

Serious side effects, such as anaphylaxis (a serious allergic reaction), are rare. They occur in less than 1 in 100,000 vaccination cases.

Though the varicella vaccine is not part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule in Ireland & the UK,it is in other countries, such as the US and Germany.

Millions of doses of the vaccine have been given and there is no evidence of any increased risk of developing a long-term health condition as a result of the vaccination.

My reason of wanting to give Amelia the vaccine is that if I can prevent her from bring sick then I will,and also to prevent any potential scaring to her face.

From speaking to my GP & researching,by speaking to other mums,the prescription for the vaccine will need to be obtained from your GP,you will need to take it to the local pharmacy & get it ordered,of big in stock,and them bring back to GP’s. It’s a bit of a joke,I can not understand why the vaccine is not advertised more,and why GPs/practice nurses do not tell you about it. I did a bit of reading,and found my answer – it’s not cost effective for Practices to stock it, however some may stock it. The vaccine is approx €160 in total. However this may vary.

Also,something interesting I learned today, is that children should not be given Calpol/Paracetemol routinely post vaccinations/immunisations, unless they are spiking temperatures,as it can reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.See here for more information.

Have you vaccinated your child against Chicken Pox? Did you know about it?
T xx

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