Chicken Pox vaccine?

Jenni - posted on 09/16/2011 ( 44 moms have responded )

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Did you have your child(ren) immunized for chicken pox?



I didn't have my son immunized for it. I was a new mom and when my doctor mentioned the optional vaccine, I blew it off. It seemed absurd at the time to be immunized for what I believed was a non-life threatening common childhood disease. I looked back on my memory of having the chicken pox and although I remember some minor discomfort, I quite enjoyed the time off of school and being pampered by my mom. From what I do understand, many children still contract the virus but the symptoms are much less severe.



So now my son is 3 years old and I've rethought my stance. Mostly, because my son suffers from CSP (chronic skin picking). He picks sores on his body as well as non-existant sores on his nose and inner ears. I keep his nails short and filed which prevents picking on his nose and inner ears for the most part. But now I'm worried about how he will handle having the chicken pox. He already has tons of scars from pickng scabs and mosquito bites.



I did have my daughter vaccinated for CP.



But my question is; can he still be vaccinated for it? Should I have him vaccinated for it? (I will definitely ask his doctor if he can still be vaccinated, but I just wanted your ladies opinion on it in the meantime). Any info on this vaccine would be much appreciated!

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Kate CP - posted on 09/16/2011

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From http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/vari...

"What are the serious complications from chickenpox?
Serious complications from chickenpox include bacterial infections which can involve many sites of the body including the skin, tissues under the skin, bone, lungs (pneumonia), joints, and blood. Other serious complications are due directly to infection with the varicella-zoster virus and include viral pneumonia, bleeding problems, and infection of the brain (encephalitis). 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."

So it's written on the death certificate as cause of death: CHICKEN POX. People can and DO die from chicken pox.

Kate CP - posted on 09/16/2011

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People can and DO die from chicken pox. Some people get it much worse than others.

Kate CP - posted on 09/16/2011

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Yes, he can still be vaccinated for it. And yes, I had my kids vaccinated for chicken pox. At the time I thought it was kind of dumb but went along with it anyway because I didn't want to have to deal with sick kids. Now hearing and reading about some of the serious cases of chicken pox I'm glad I did it.

Jane - posted on 09/17/2011

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My kids are 21 and almost 18 so at the time, there was no option for vaccination of chicken pox. However, if they had it then, I would have done it. My kids both had the virus but for my daughter, it was horrible. My son was under 1 when he caught it so we're still not sure if he's fully immunized being it was such a mild case. I don't think your son is too old to get the vaccine....based on what you describe, I would absolutely do it if I were you. Good luck on your decision!

Caitlin - posted on 09/16/2011

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Both my girls have the vaccine, and recently the gov't added a "booster" shot at 5 or 6 before tyhey start school to make sure the immunity is still there. We have bad eczema in our house, so the thought of all these itchy spots on them would be bad here as well, wince the skin is flakier and all that. I think it's a good vaccine to get, and you can get it any time. As far as i'm aware, I was a "rest group" for the vaccine when I was a young kid without een knowign it. My doc gave us (my sister and I) the vaccine (my mom signed a form) and maybe 2 months later stuck us in a room full of kids with chicken pox to see if we'd get it (we didn't). All in all, i'm no worse for wear!

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Johnny - posted on 09/23/2011

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No Becky, they do not currently include it. Until very recently it wasn't considered at all necessary here, so you couldn't get it without a lot of convincing. And you still need to pay for it. The changes have been recommended, so I imagine the schedule and rules should be changed in a year or so. Depending on your child's age, if they are now in preschool, it will likely be offered when they are starting elementary.

Angela - posted on 09/20/2011

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we get reminder in the mail but it is like 2/3 years from her last one. That probably does not help you any...
You can look it up on the CDC or WHO website also while you request a booster ask about the shingles vaccine it is relatively new. I am getting for Claire

Becky - posted on 09/20/2011

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I didn't realize the booster wasn't included in our schedule here. Surely they'd give it if you asked for it though? Although I suppose then you'd have to pay... What age are they supposed to have the booster? Since we got our boys vaccinated, I will now have to remember to request the booster!

Sherri - posted on 09/20/2011

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I am also not talking about Canada Johnny only the US. I have no idea what other countries have for immunizations or schedules. Which I made clear in my subsequent response.

Johnny - posted on 09/20/2011

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The booster is not currently included in our schedule here Sherri. That is clear from my respnse.

Brittany - posted on 09/19/2011

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If you do not want to get your child the vaccine, in the US, make sure to read your schools policy carefully. Some school may have it written as a reccomendation. Private schools may or may not require it.

My children did recieve the Chicken Pox vaccine simply because, I did my homework. I do on any shot my child will be getting before they get it. The pros do out weigh the cons. My kids were also tested to make sure they were not immune to it first.

Sherri - posted on 09/19/2011

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I already said that you can get an exemption if you have a medical issue and can get it signed off by a doctor or a religious reason and can get it signed off by a church but you can not just opt not too if you don't have one of these two reasons here. You also have to get it signed off by a doctor or a church and have it notorized we don't have a personal belief waiver.

Also I was referring to the US not Canada and I didn't realize 5 states in the US didn't require it but 45 out of the 50 do.

Merry - posted on 09/19/2011

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Every state has exemption waivers, some have just religious or medical ones, some have personal belief ones but no where can they physically force you to let them vaccinate your child.

Brittany - posted on 09/19/2011

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When you say mandatory you must use that loosly. Only in 45 states is it mandatory and even than you have a test done to determine if your child is immune to getting chicken pox.

Johnny - posted on 09/18/2011

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I have not had my daughter vaccinated against the chicken pox and will not be doing so until they begin to administer the vaccine here according to the Canadian Pediatric Society recommendations. The current vaccine set-up for chicken pox has now been linked to much higher rates of shingles in young adults for previously vaccinated kids as opposed to those who had the virus naturally. I certainly do not want to take that chance. Shingles is much more severe and debilitating (and potentially life threatening) than the chicken pox. I'm glad I waited, which I did on suggestion of a couple of people I know in the research arena, and now apparently studies have confirmed it. As soon as they change the procedure here in BC, I will take my daughter for it. That could take a while. But it does not effect her going to school or anything. It isn't mandatory here at all.

Sherri - posted on 09/18/2011

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Most definitely and also it is now mandatory for school. It is no longer optional.

Yes it is mandatory for our children to be vaccinated unless you can PROVE your child has a medical reason they can not be vaccinated have it signed by the pediatrician and have it notorized or a have a religious belief in which case it must be signed by your church and once again notorized.

p.s. I am a picker too.

Merry - posted on 09/18/2011

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I'm also a chronic 'picker' my lips, under my fingernails, scabs, little bumps, zits.....it's awful I dont want to do it I just have to. But I had the pox at like 5 yrs old and have no scars, no complications. So idk.

Brittany - posted on 09/18/2011

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I would say yes, if you can. Only because, he picks. If he were to get the pox and he picked them open it could turn into a life threatening disease.

All of us have staph living on our skin and all it take is it getting into an open sore. If he were to pick his pox open he could turn up with several cases of staph infection. Since his body is already low on immunity from the pox it won't be able to combat the staph and the pox.

Angela - posted on 09/18/2011

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I want to say it is never too late to vaccinate with the chicken pox I just read it at my German Doctor office. So if your son never had them vaccinate !
If I was unsure I would vaccinate too! It is a very very safe vaccine. So very very unlikely to cause an issue.
The only people immune to it are those who had it and according to research from the WHO immunity last almost 50 years. So they recommend people who had the chick pox get a vaccine at age 50.

Nikki - posted on 09/18/2011

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That's interesting, my mum does it too. I figured I just picked it up from her. My mum and I both little little pimple like bumps on our arms and legs, she used to pick mine and then I started doing it. My daughter has them too, I have to fight myself all the time not to pick hers too! It sounds really gross doesn't it.

Jenni - posted on 09/18/2011

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Yes Nikki, it's similar... but it's kind of at par with nail bitting. The weirdest thing about it is that a staph infection in childhood can trigger it. My son had, what I thought was just a regular flu... he was sick with a low-mid range fever. But the picking began shortly after. He woke up the next week covered with tiny scratches all over his nose and inner ears. I thought they were bug bites or something! His nose was just covered with them. His doctor knew right away what it was though. Now I wonder if he did indeed have a staph infection.

Nikki - posted on 09/18/2011

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I haven't had Issy vaccinated yet because she has had ear infections every time I have booked her in but I will get it done soon.

This is kind of off topic, but I never knew there was an actual condition for skin picking. I do it too, it drives my husband insane because I try and pick at him too. I have so many scars, particularly on my arms. I just can't help it, don't even realise I am doing it until my arms are covered in welts. I suppose it kind of an OCD thing when you think about it?

Rosie - posted on 09/17/2011

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yes my kids have gotten it, and yes your son can get it at any time. i got the chicken pox twice as a child, and each time was rather mild apparantly...mild according to medical terms anyway. i was fucking miserable though, and have no idea why people would actually WANT their child to experience that. my sister got it bad. she had pox everywhere. it isn't fun and i actually get mad when i hear people purposely exposing their kids to it. grrrrr...

[deleted account]

My kids all got the shot.



I had chicken pox so mild that no one knew I ever had it until I had shingles in the 9th grade. My brother got the chicken pox at 18 and felt like he was going to die (no serious complications... just a LOT of misery).

Angela - posted on 09/17/2011

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I did this vaccination and and very much for it. They do not even have it as an option here in The Netherlands so I went to Germany and got it for my little Claire. She had two vaccinations and will get her boosters.

I recently read you can get a vaccine for shingle even if you had the chicken pox, so I plan to get that myself and ask for my kids, I did not manage to get CP until I was in my early 20's.

It has saved lives in the USA and not one death has be caused from the vaccine since 2006. So it is safer than getting the CP. People over here in The Netherlands thought I was crazy to vaccinate for it, they still have CP parties and think of it as harmless. It is not harmless children and adults die from it so why risk it? When I mention Shingles they had no idea what I was talking about.

Also the scars... it can leave horrible scars and missing school is not good. If my child picked herself I would most definitely get it.

Minnie - posted on 09/17/2011

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It's funny, I went all the way through public school and didn't manage to catch chicken pox until I was 12. What a fun time, it was down in all those various orfices you don't want itchy sores in.

Merry - posted on 09/17/2011

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Thanks Tracy! It's Irish, and means truth :)
Our families were not too thrilled about the name since they all like traditional ones, but hopefully it's growing on them!

Tracey - posted on 09/17/2011

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I wouldn't have my kids vaccinated against this and I do know of a child who died from complications caused by Chickenpox - but he had other life shortening conditions and was very ill when he caught it. Every parent has to decide what is best for their child.

Love the name Fierna

Jenni - posted on 09/17/2011

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Thanks Caitlin, yes I think my doctor mentioned they get a booster for it too when I had my daughter vaccinated. She also has acute eczema, it's improved with with age, but good point. The vaccine will probably be beneficial for her in that regards.

Jenni - posted on 09/17/2011

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Thanks for the suggestion Rebecca, yes we do use hydrocortisone for his scabs. I also use benadryl creme anytime he gets a mosquito bite. They were quite nasty this year with the heat and rain. :/



Unfortunately, it doesn't stop him from creating new scabs on his nose and inner ears. It's an anxiety disorder that can sometimes be triggered from a staph infection. But I've found as long as I keep his nails short and filed he can't dig at his skin. I can always tell right away when his nails need a cutting because he'll develop a few tiny scrapes on his nose and/or inner ears.

Karla - posted on 09/16/2011

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I did not get my kids immunized for CP, but then it just came out when my youngest were little and it wasn't available with my older two kids. At the time I looked at the risks and benefits and decided they were about even. With you though, having a son with CSP, that would definitely weigh in as a benefit for immunizing. And yes they can be immunized at that age, and yes CP can be deadly, but it is very rare - immunizations have their ill effects as well.

Good luck!

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Of topic, but wondering if you've ever tried Benadryl or Hydrocortisone on his scabs? My scabs/wounds itch like CRAZY when they are healing and I also would pick at them when I was a kid (because they itch). It wasn't until I was an adult that my doctor suggested applying an anti-itch cream to a healing wound. It really does help.

Becky - posted on 09/16/2011

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Yes, we had our boys vaccinated against it. That was one vaccination I could've gone either way on, but some children do get very sick with chicken pox and at the very least, it's an inconvenience to everyone, so we figured, why not.

September - posted on 09/16/2011

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Yes you can still have him vaccinated and yes we had our son vaccinated.

Sarah - posted on 09/16/2011

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Yep, I got my son vaccinated for the chicken pox & will continue to do so for any future children. I didn't get the chicken pox as a child, so I got the vaccination when I was around 15 maybe? So, yes he can still be vaccinated for it.

America3437 - posted on 09/16/2011

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well I stand corrected then thanks for the research(adjust your crown it's falling off lol...) I feel smarter knowing that and will defiently sleep better tonight...lol...

Sarah - posted on 09/16/2011

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Neither of my girls were vaccinated against it, but we don't vaccinate against it here in the UK.

In your circumstance though........I would consider getting it done. It sounds like if your son DID get it, it would be very stressful and I'm assuming he would be more prone to infection due to picking at the spots.

In general though, I wouldn't vaccinate against it.

Merry - posted on 09/16/2011

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I did it for Eric because my dr said there's barely any non vax kids out there to catch it from these days so I figured why not. Now with Fierna I'll wait until she's approaching puberty and if she hasn't gotten the pox I'll give her the shot.
Yes he can get the shot any time, as I said, I'll give it to fia if she's around 9 and hasn't gotten the pox

America3437 - posted on 09/16/2011

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No they die from complications of cp not the actual cp themselves. You can get staph in the spots that will kill you if you scratch them open and get bacteria in the spots.

America3437 - posted on 09/16/2011

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All 3 of my kids got the cp vaccine when they were younger and still got cp. They had maybe 5 spots between the three of them(they got cp at same time after visit to local health dept) and never ran fever or anything! Chicken Pox isn't life threating but is far worse as an adult I understand. I remember being miserable with the cp and Grandma taped socks to our hands to keep us from itching... it was horriable! I carry a few scares from the times I managed to get the socks off my hands and scratch so I think getting the vaccine for my own kids was great! I am not for all vacinnes like the HPV but cp was one I am glad I decided to get for them! hope this helps.

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