Vaccinating against chickenpox.

Sarah - posted on 04/07/2011 ( 131 moms have responded )

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Stemming from the other vaccination thread, I brought up the fact that we do not vaccinate against chickenpox here in the UK.



I didn't even realise until I joined COM's that other countries DO vaccinate against it. I've always just thought of it as something that all kids get, like a rite of passage.



I'm pro-vaccinations, but if they were to bring in the chickenpox vaccine here, I really don't think I would bother with it.



So was just wondering how many of gave the chickenpox vaccines to your kids, also whether where you're from has an impact on how you view chickenpox, obviously I know it CAN in rare cases be fatal, but on the whole, I just see it as a mild childhood illness.



(if that all makes sense, I'm knackered today!)

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Amber - posted on 04/07/2011

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You guys aren't understand the stats that I posted correctly.

1 in 10 unvaccinated children will have complications (10%)



25-30% of the children who do get the vaccination will have to seek medical treatment.

But only 15-20% of vaccinated children will get chicken pox to begin with.

So, only 20% of children vaccinated with only 1 dose get it, and 30% of those kids need treatment, ie 6%.



But the CDC recommends that children receive 2 doses of the shot, which decreases the number of cases to approximately 7%.

So, 7% of children will still get chicken pox. Of that 7%, about 30% will need treatment, ie 2.1%.



I know that it seems confusing. But in the end it comes down to unvaccinated children have a 10% chance of complications. Children with only 1 dose have a 6% chance. Children with the recommended 2 doses only have a 2.1% chance.



Also, here is some information that I found on Shingles and the vaccine:



"Immunization with the varicella vaccine (or chickenpox vaccine) - now recommended in the United States for all children between 18 months and adolescence - can protect children from getting chickenpox. People who have been vaccinated against chickenpox are less likely to get shingles because the weak, “attenuated” strain of virus used in the chickenpox vaccine is less likely to survive in the body over decades. But a definitive answer to the question of whether shingles can occur later in life in a person vaccinated against chickenpox will only be provided when enough data have been gathered over the next several decades."





The only statistical research they have is on the shingles vaccination, not the chicken pox vaccination in regards to shingles.

[deleted account]

Here's the way I understand the chickenpox/ shingles correlation.
Children catch chickenpox, most but not all will create antibodies.
Teenagers and adults who have had the disease, effectively get a booster every time they come into contact with an infected child, strengthening the immune system to fight shingles.
If kids stop getting infectious chicken pox, no natural boosters. Those who were infected as a child now have a greater risk of shingle re-emergence.
Those who have the shot would need to keep getting boosters throughout their lives to keep shingles re-emergence to a minimum.

My eldest had chickenpox when he was 3yo. It was very mild. He felt off colour for a few days but nothing major.
I pick chickenpox over vaccine for my youngest. If he hasn't caught it by the age of 10, then I would consider a shot. The risks to an older person are far greater than young children.

Sara - posted on 04/07/2011

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Just googling it, I did find this tidbit:

"It prevents shingles in 50 percent of
those vaccinated and reduces the incidence of PHN by 66 percent. Although people who are vaccinated
may still get shingles, they are likely to experience a milder case than un-vaccinated persons."

Lori - posted on 04/11/2011

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I had chicken Pox as a baby, It became complicated and I developed pneumonia was hospitalized. I also have some scars. Chicken Pox can be a serious disease and I had all three of my boys vaccinated!

[deleted account]

Most of us who are the opposed to the shot for children are very much for it if you reach 10 years plus without getting infected. Nobody has suggested that chicken pox is safe for adults.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

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MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/07/2012

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The vaccine was not around when my daughter was little she had chickenpox around age 5, she didn't get too sick but I do believe I will be getting it for my son next immunization time (April). I was 18 years old when I got them and it was sure terror!! I was pretty sick at first but I had them so bad they were in my mouth, ears, ass crack - EVERYWHERE! I do have a scar, thank god, only one, that I know of. It is hard to see but I see it, it is on my nose...



I was told by my daughter's pediatrician you, in rare cases, can get them twice. I also just found this, I think it is unlikely but it can happen twice by what I was told and what this says...



Can you have chickenpox twice?



In most cases, you can only get chickenpox once. This is called life-long immunity. But in rare cases, a person might get it again, especially if you were very young when you had it the first time.



http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts...



http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chickenpox/...

Janice - posted on 02/07/2012

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If you are thinking about the chicken pox vaccine - beware - you need to have some sort of followup after the vaccine injection to get a blood test to find out if your child has developed anitbodies - if they have not developed any antibodies or a sufficient amount they could still get chicken pox. That's not good if they get it when they are adults. It can lead to shingles and other complications. I say just get them naturally. A little discomfort and maybe a few trying days for mom - but then its over.

Veronique - posted on 04/13/2011

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I gave them to my kids, it's not that they'll never get the chickenpox it's that if they do get it it won't be as bad.

Jennifer - posted on 04/11/2011

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both of my kids have been vaccinated against the chicken pox. it is for their benefit, but also for mine. i never had it as a child, and would be bound to get it if the kids were to come down with it. so we vaccinated in order to protect us all!! :)

Jennifer - posted on 04/11/2011

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both of my kids have been vaccinated against the chicken pox. it is for their benefit, but also for mine. i never had it as a child, and would be bound to get it if the kids were to come down with it. so we vaccinated in order to protect us all!! :)

Lori - posted on 04/11/2011

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I had chicken Pox as a baby, It became complicated and I developed pneumonia was hospitalized. I also have some scars. Chicken Pox can be a serious disease and I had all three of my boys vaccinated!

[deleted account]

I should imagine as the UK don't routinely vaccinate against chickenpox it is easier for our children to catch it during childhood, when the risks are much lower, than in countries where they vaccinate against it :-)

Desiree - posted on 04/10/2011

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Do you know that if you catch Chicken Pox as an adult it can kill you? It seems like such a little desease but it can kill and it does especially in Africa and that one of the reasons we vacinate.

Dana - posted on 04/09/2011

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I got the MMR and Dtap the day after I had my son and I was breastfeeding.

Merry - posted on 04/09/2011

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Oh yeah, thanks I did know that. I'm just thinking about if I should even after. Matt definitely will do it before she is born, me, idk. Can you get shots while breastfeeding exclusively?

Kate CP - posted on 04/09/2011

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Laura: You can't get the shot while pregnant anyway. You have to wait until after you give birth.

Merry - posted on 04/09/2011

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Hubby and I will get the dtap shot before baby is born, well hubby for sure, but I have on record a bad reaction from tetanus shot so idk if I should risk it and get the shot, but babies are unprotected from pertussis for those two months and those two months are the most likely times they will catch it and die from it! So mom and dad being vaccinated is most important.
By 6 months of age pertussis isn't fatal in almost any cases so really it's just those early months you have to worry about.

Johnny - posted on 04/09/2011

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Rotavirus is not routinely given in Canada either. I asked about it because I'd seen it mentioned here, and was told that in urban settings we are exceedingly low risk. My niece told me that Health Canada does give it to remote First Nations reserves though. Probably poor water systems, would be my guess.

Whooping cough and MMR seem to be the most common serious outbreaks in this region right now. Especially in communities where the vax rate is low and thus there is no herd immunity.

Mandian - posted on 04/09/2011

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My children are vaccinated for chickenpox. I had it as a child and it was pretty bad. I guess I am just trying to keep my kids from suffering from just another illness. I have heard that many children end up getting chickenpox even with the vaccination.

[deleted account]

Climate probably plays a part in why we don't use the rotovirus vaccination here. Somewhere like Australia, it has much greater a risk of quickly causing issues related to dehydration.

Pia - posted on 04/09/2011

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I'm right there with ya Tracey. My friends baby died a
few years ago from whooping cough. So that's sufficiently scared me enough to make sure I'm up to date and my kids get whatever vaccine they can. After seeing what she went through I just can't take the risk. I probably would have vaccinated for chickenpox anyway though, I remember it being horrible!

Jenni - posted on 04/09/2011

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Toni, Canada has universal health care too and we have hep B and the option for chicken pox. ;)

Sneaky - posted on 04/09/2011

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Fortunately she didn't, the magical 'they' (this time made up of local GP's and hospital personnel) believe that she had a virus. That didn't help us much when she had to have a tube stuck up her nose and down into her throat to collect a sample to send for a whopping cough test though. And that still makes me MAD. That I had to pin down my 24 day old baby while a nurse collected that sample, just because a bunch of inconsiderate wankers in our country can't be bothered to get their boosters and now we are having an epidemic. Grrrrr.

Pia - posted on 04/09/2011

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:( did your bub get it? Whooping cough petrifies me. If they find it's safe to give at birth I would not hesitate next time.

Sneaky - posted on 04/09/2011

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Pia, I only remember hearing on the news a few months ago that 'they' (and I have no idea who 'they' are) were investigating the possibility of giving the whopping cough at birth. I haven't heard anything else about it since.

My bub had the vaccination at six weeks too - of course that was three weeks too late!

Sarah - posted on 04/09/2011

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Hahaha, I've been trawling the internet for days now about this thread, so it made a change to type something other than "chickenpox" into Google! ;)

[deleted account]

Sarah thank-you I was just thinking out loud and was being lazy, I should have looked that up I would imagine it's quite easy to find on the NHS webpage :-)

Sarah - posted on 04/09/2011

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We don't give Hep B (so far as I can tell) as we don't have as high a rate of it here as they do in the US, so it's just the high risk people that receive it.

Sarah - posted on 04/09/2011

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According to the NHS, we don't vaccinate against the rotavirus because it's very rarely fatal, so the risk isn't great enough to warrant a vaccine for it (unless high risk)
Yes, it's a form of gastroenteritis.

[deleted account]

That's interesting that both the US and Aus give the chickenpox, rotovirus (which is for gastro isn't it?) and Hep B but the UK doesn't unless your in a high risk category. I wonder why? I suppose it could be because the UK doesn't have the same risk factors - but that seems unlikely. Or it could be that the UK is more cost conscious as we have universal healthcare - but doesn't Aus as well? I wonder how necessary these vaccines are if not all the Westernised countries feel they are necessary.



I forgot to wonder about Canada - what is your vaccine schedule like? Do you guys have the three vaccines above? I wonder about other countries as well, I just don't want to list them all :-)



Edited to change incredibly bad grammar :-)

Pia - posted on 04/09/2011

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Tracey, I had my daughter in January and they said the earliest she could get the whooping cough vaccine was 6 weeks. They do offer a free booster to parents and grandparents of babies under one too.
As for the chicken pox vaccine, my son got it and my daughter will as well. I'll prevent my kids from any illness if I can.

Sal - posted on 04/08/2011

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and if mum isn;t seeking medical help how many other kids get chicken pox and it isn't recoreded at all?

Sal - posted on 04/08/2011

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i have just remembered a friend of mine who had shingles as a child. she has horrid scares around her ribs, her mum was an anti vaxer, so she didn;t get a bad reaction from the vax. I don;t know if anyone else has questioned the figures (i have tried to cathup but not sure if i got all pages), i was wondering if more kids seek medical help when vaxed as the parents are more cautious seen as they have been vaxed? i know when my son had them i did go to the dr, got advice, but probally didn't need it, if i saw it as normal and no big deal he never would of went to the dr with them ,amybe that would account for at least some of the children seeking medical help, and on the flip side, if mum thinks that chicken pox are just part of childhood maybe the child has to be a bit sicker before she seeks a dr, and some kids who maybe should of seen help maybe didn;t....

Sneaky - posted on 04/08/2011

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Note on the Aussie schedule - the last I paid any attention , 'they' were discussing actually doing the whopping cough vaccination at birth instead of 8 weeks (those 2, 4 & 6 month vaccinations can actually be done on an 'express' schedule at 6, 12 and 18 weeks) since Australia is actually in the middle of a whopping cough epidemic at the moment.

Merry - posted on 04/08/2011

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Well this is one case where it's better to get sick young then to get sick older. Not that getting sick is good. Just better as a kid! And some studies show better immunity when the actual disease is fought off, rather then the weakened virus in the shot.
I think there's risks either way here. Risks for vaccinating, and risks for having chicken pox. I just like to do things the 'closer to nature' way if it is a close call.
Also I think you would be able to see if a chicken pox case was getting serious and treat it, but the side effects from the vaccine are usually sudden and untreatable.
Close call, I'll admit that.

Kate CP - posted on 04/08/2011

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Speaking as a person with a severely compromised immune system I am absolutely baffled when people say it's a good thing to get sick.

Cyndel - posted on 04/08/2011

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Nope, I won't unless my child reaches 10-11 with out catching it. Because it does get more and more serious the older you get. I personally am of the belief that it isn't smart to vaccinate against some of these milder diseases as the body doesn't get the chance to strengthen its resistance against illness, making it more and more likely that milder and milder diseases become more and more serious because we are less and less likely to be able to fight them with our weaker and weaker immune systems.
So no I won't be vaccinating against it until my kids reach the age where it would start getting dangerous for them to have the actual disease.

LaCi - posted on 04/08/2011

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I was very unprepared for motherhood and I just went through with all the vaccinations he was supposed to have, one of which was chickenpox. Had I realized they vaccinated against chickenpox now, I probably would have declined because I, like you, just see it as a normal part of childhood. As far as I knew at the time, the vaccinations were the same/similar as they were when I was a kid. I figured, measles and such, hep, so on. More serious things. I didn't realize it was even on the list.

Amber - posted on 04/08/2011

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Yes, there were ages. The statistics broke down as follows:
The number of cases decreased the most in 1-9 year olds.

The hospitalization rate decreased 91-92% in people under that age of 20, this was the most dramatically decreased range.

Mortality decreased the most in the 1-4 year old age group (92% decrease).

It doesn't give the percentage change for each age group in each category, only the age group with the largest decrease.

I also found some more information on shingles now:
This is from Pediatrics (a journal from the AAP)

"After primary varicella infection (chickenpox), the virus establishes latency in neuronal ganglia. Reactivation of latent VZV causes herpes zoster (shingles). Approximately 20% to 30% of people over a lifetime develop herpes zoster, with disease incidence increasing markedly beginning at approximately 50 years of age. This increase in incidence of herpes zoster is associated with a relative loss of cell-mediated immunity to VZV that occurs naturally with aging. Herpes zoster in children is rare, although children who acquire chickenpox during the first year of life have an increased risk of shingles. Herpes zoster occurs more frequently in immunocompromised patients. Available data indicate that the risk of herpes zoster after immunization seems to be lower than the risk of zoster after wild-type varicella infection."

So, it seems to say that they can't make conclusions about shingles yet, but that the trend seems to be that you are less likely to get it if you have the original vaccine for chicken pox.

Sarah - posted on 04/08/2011

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From my good old Google searches, it seems like a lot of the deaths that occur are either adults or immunocomprised children/adults.

[deleted account]

I've got to wonder if the statics Amber put on here apply to more adults who contract the disease as opposed to children. Were any ages included in these studies?

Everyone I know who contracted after hitting their teens has really suffered. I, personally, only know of one child to have problems that required hospital treatment and they were not life threatening.
I totally support the jab being given at 10 years old+ but not as part of the vaccination schedule for young children.

Sharon - posted on 04/08/2011

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I have three kids. My youngest received the vaccine. My two older ones got the chicken pox at the same time. One was 2 1/2 years old, the other was 6 months old. They did pretty well, but my son who got it at 6 months had to get a booster because having it so young did not generate enough immunity. Many people like my sister in law would prefer their children get the chicken pox to get the immunity but with so many people getting the vaccine, your childs chances of catching it from someone else are few. I will tell you that when I worked as an ICU nurse many years ago, I had two patients both around 30 years old adults both die within a few months of each other after contracting chicken pox. Some adults do OK, but for some reason getting chicken pox as an adult wipes out
the immune system and they can die from other infections.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/08/2011

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I actually got the vaccine myself when I was in 8th grade....it is not a new concept in the states, just don't know how broadcasted it has been.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/08/2011

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This is the first that I have been able to get on in days...CoM kept kicking me off.....I cannot read entire thread now, but I will when I can later. I am gonna respond though...

Yes I would get the vaccine. I have not had chicken pox myself, and I am actually gonna get the vax for me my next visit. It is much more severe for adults....and the older you get in general. I would prefer just to protect my kids against it now. Just my preference. I would hate for my 1 year old to get it, and scratch herself full of scars.

Sal - posted on 04/08/2011

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and my brother had mumps when he was little (i don;t know how my mum was pro vac, but that was in the early 70's so maybe the ages and vacs were different then) and is infertile as an adult, they can't be certain it was the mumps but they say it is a possible side effect, so you just never know what the long term effects of these things are.

Sal - posted on 04/08/2011

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sorry will finish my post now, hhad to put ursula to bed, i am very pro vac if your kids don;t have adverse reactions as i feel it protects the vunerable in the population, and also my nan had polio as a child and was perminatly crippled as a result and i saw the result of these harmless childhood sicknesses all my childhood...i also feel that if at all posible to avoid anything that can give kids a high temp is a goo move, you never know when a high temp is going to get very nasty..

Sal - posted on 04/08/2011

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all my kids have had the vac, i never really thought about it just part of the regime, my son also got chicken pox when he was younger, it was just a very mild case, he has no scaring, a couple of dozen spots no serious temp or anything, he didn;t get too unwell, i was told it was because he had the vac, so i am glad he did, other kids i know had it very bad, up their noses, down their throats, inside the vaginas it isn;t pleasant

Sneaky - posted on 04/08/2011

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According to the information i just read, the 'shingles vaccine' is actually the EXACT same vaccine that our kids get for chicken pox - just at a higher concentration.

Abstract:
"The vaccine, prepared from a live, attenuated strain of varicella-zoster virus (VZV), is designed to yield a more potent, higher titer than varicella virus live vaccine used in childern for chicken pox. The reactivation of VZV, the virus responsible for placebo, causes shingles."
Laustsen, G. & Neilson, T., (2007),Prevent Shingles with Zostavax, Nurse Practitioner, 32, p6-7.

It makes sense to me that we vaccinate our kids for chicken pox and just give them the same vaccine later in life to prevent shingles. . . .

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