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Age Groups => Toddlers => Topic started by: CareDC on January 20, 2008, 12:09:06 PM

Title: Chickenpox vaccination
Post by: CareDC on January 20, 2008, 12:09:06 PM
Is it a good idea to vaccinate a toddler for chickenpox? Here is some info

What kind of vaccine is it?
The chickenpox vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine. This means the live, disease-producing virus was modified, or weakened, in the laboratory to produce an organism that can grow and produce immunity in the body without causing illness.

How effective is this vaccine?
Ninety-seven percent of children between age 12 months and 12 years develop immunity to the disease after one dose of vaccine. For older children and adults, an average of 78% develop immunity after one dose and 99% develop immunity after the recommended two doses.

Isn't it better for a child to get chickenpox naturally?
Some parents purposely seek to get their children infected with varicella virus, even promoting "chickenpox parties" for this purpose. The belief is that it's better to be infected when young, a time when the infection is ordinarily less severe. Some parents also believe that something "natural" (the disease) is better than something "artificial" (the vaccine), or that immunity derived from the disease will be more permanent than that from the vaccine.

However, when a safe vaccine is available, parents need to weigh the supposed benefits of infection against its potential risks, including severe disease with complications such as infection with flesh-eating bacteria. No one can predict which child will develop a life-threatening case of chickenpox; in fact, most serious cases occur in previously healthy children.

Can the vaccine cause chickenpox?
Because this vaccine is made from a live, but weakened, virus, about 1% of recipients develop a mild form of the disease, consisting of a limited rash, most often with only 5-6 blisters. Usually there is no fever. These persons are then safe from the more serious, naturally occurring form of the virus.
Title: Re: Chickenpox vaccination
Post by: Ryan on January 21, 2008, 12:29:40 AM
Is there a chickenpox vaccination available for adults? I have never had it before and a work colleague of mine has been quite seriously afflicted with it from his children. I would rather not get it myself, so a vaccine would be great!
Title: Re: Chickenpox vaccination
Post by: Ryan on January 21, 2008, 12:31:10 AM
... and adults, an average of 78% develop immunity after one dose and 99% develop immunity after the recommended two doses.

It seems I should read before posting :P

Is there any reason why I shouldn't have the vaccine though? It seems odd that one is available and yet my doctor hasn't suggested it.

Title: Re: Chickenpox vaccination
Post by: Laura on January 21, 2008, 10:42:12 AM
The vaccine is available to everyone, although your dr may charge for the vaccine since you are not following the immunization schedule which are usually covered by the government.  If you have not had chicken pox as a child, they tend to be worse as adults with more complications. If you had chicken pox you can also get shingles which is a worse form as it affects your nervous system.  I've had chicken pox as a child but also received the vaccine in adulthood. If you do decide to get the vaccine remember that you may get a side effect due to the live virus in the vaccine.  Hope this answers your question. :D
Title: Re: Chickenpox vaccination
Post by: spud on January 22, 2008, 02:15:51 PM
I do believe when I was pregnant and the routine bloodwork returned they found that I have the antibodies for chicken pox although I do know for sure I never had the virus (despite being introduced to it in lil pox parties as you mentioned)...Are some people naturally immune?
My oldest daughter got them from daycare as a child when it when through, but my youngest has yet to get them...I nursed her for a couple of years and wonder if I could have passed on the same immunity to her?
any ideas?
Title: Re: Chickenpox vaccination
Post by: spud on January 22, 2008, 02:16:57 PM
also, would you recommend people getting blood work done to see their own immunity as an adult before getting the vaccine?
I am leary of the vaccine...
Title: Re: Chickenpox vaccination
Post by: Laura on January 22, 2008, 03:33:42 PM
I do believe when I was pregnant and the routine bloodwork returned they found that I have the antibodies for chicken pox although I do know for sure I never had the virus (despite being introduced to it in lil pox parties as you mentioned)...Are some people naturally immune?
My oldest daughter got them from daycare as a child when it when through, but my youngest has yet to get them...I nursed her for a couple of years and wonder if I could have passed on the same immunity to her?
any ideas?

Yes, you are right about some people being naturally immune (about 90%), I found some info at this link: http://www.bolton.nhs.uk/public/publications/CPOX.pdf

As for your youngest daughter, she may have some immunity due to the protection from the breast milk.  You may still get them at a later time.  If she did get the "pox" while you were breast feeding, she would not have had a severe case of them, and she could also get them again at a later time.

Title: Re: Chickenpox vaccination
Post by: Ryan on March 14, 2008, 03:38:31 AM
Just to follow up ... I've been to my GP and he suggested I get tested to see if I have an immunity to the virus which apparently I do not. So I will be getting the vaccine quick smart! It isn't covered under the public health scheme here in NZ though so I'll have to pay $130 for it :(

I do know for sure I never had the virus (despite being introduced to it in lil pox parties as you mentioned)...Are some people naturally immune?

According to my GP, most people who have an immunity but don't recall ever having the virus, most likely did have the virus, but for whatever reason it didn't erupt into full blown Chickpox and so they didn't notice.

Title: Re: Chickenpox vaccination
Post by: spud on March 14, 2008, 09:16:48 AM
Bummer that you have to pay for it. Best to be safe than sorry though. infact i recently heard of a 45 yr old friend of mine with shingles...does the vaccine stop shingles too?
Title: Re: Chickenpox vaccination
Post by: Laura on March 14, 2008, 02:43:43 PM
$130 seems like it's expensive but not over your health.  Apparently if parents do not follow the standard immunization schedule, the optional immunizations, such as this will not be covered by public health and will then come out of your own pocket, especially if you don't have health insurance.

I don't think that the vaccine stops shingles, although it is the same virus. It would be something to look into.
Title: Re: Chickenpox vaccination
Post by: CareDC on March 14, 2008, 11:13:02 PM
Just to follow up ... I've been to my GP and he suggested I get tested to see if I have an immunity to the virus which apparently I do not. So I will be getting the vaccine quick smart! It isn't covered under the public health scheme here in NZ though so I'll have to pay $130 for it :(

According to my GP, most people who have an immunity but don't recall ever having the virus, most likely did have the virus, but for whatever reason it didn't erupt into full blown Chickpox and so they didn't notice.


Hi Ryan

That's quite expensive ($160 Canadian). Then again, they spent alot in R&D. You better hope it works for you :)
Title: Re: Chickenpox vaccination
Post by: Ryan on March 15, 2008, 03:47:55 AM
AFAIK, the vaccine will help prevent shingles as it's the shingles which are caused by the virus. I don't think it can help if you already have shingles though, it just lessens the likelyhood of you getting them in the first place.

Title: Re: Chickenpox vaccination
Post by: CareDC on March 15, 2008, 12:52:23 PM
How easy is it to get shingles? I don't really hear much about it.
Title: Re: Chickenpox vaccination
Post by: spud on March 15, 2008, 07:43:40 PM
Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Also known as herpes zoster, it often appears as a band of blisters that wraps from the middle of your back around one side of your chest to your breastbone. Other parts of your body can be involved as well, including your neck, face or scalp.

The pain of shingles can be excruciating, and the cause might not be immediately evident. But once the telltale rash and blisters start on one side of your body, it's more easily identified as shingles.

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you've had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive (dormant) in your nerves. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.

Shingles isn't a life-threatening condition, but it can be very painful. Sometimes, the rash leads to a debilitating complication called postherpetic neuralgia. This condition causes the skin to remain painful and sensitive to touch for months or even years after the rash clears up.

Vaccines can help reduce the risk of shingles, while early treatment can help shorten a shingles infection and minimize the chance of complications

Shingles is a second eruption of the varicella-zoster virus the same virus that causes chickenpox.

Varicella-zoster is part of a group of viruses called herpes viruses, which includes the viruses that cause cold sores and genital herpes. Many of these viruses can lie hidden in your nervous system after an initial infection and remain inactive for years before causing another infection.

Anyone who's had chickenpox may develop shingles. If your immune system doesn't destroy the entire virus during the initial infection, the remaining virus can enter your nervous system and lie hidden for years. Eventually, it may reactivate and travel along nerve pathways to your skin producing the shingles.

The reason for the encore is unclear. But it may be due to lowered immunity to infections as you grow older. Shingles is more common in older adults and in those who have weak immune systems.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/shingles/DS00098/DSECTION=2
Title: Re: Chickenpox vaccination
Post by: Laura on April 26, 2008, 03:09:04 PM
I was reading up on the chicken pox disease and found the following information.  (the numbers may be a bit outdated(2006), but the info is still the same).