Chicken Pox

Tabby - posted on 01/05/2011 ( 27 moms have responded )

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My daughter goes for her 1 year check-up in a few weeks and one vaccine they said she would get is the Chicken Pox. When I was younger (I'm only 22) there was no vaccine for Chicken Pox, so every kid I know got them and survived... Is there a reason kids should get the vaccine or is it just to save parents the hassle of their kids getting Chicken Pox?

THIS IS NOT A DEBATE... I'M ASKING A QUESTION AND IF YOU ARE AGAINST ALL VACCINES THAN PLEASE FIND SOME OTHER POST TO STATE YOUR OPINIONS. THANK YOU!

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Jodi - posted on 01/05/2011

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Krista, I am pretty sure you can still get shingles following the vaccine due to the same reason. Something about the virus living in the base of your spine. I was discussing the vaccine with someone whose 16 year old had shingles, and he was vaccinated. And apparently the doctor told her that the first lot of kids who were vaccinated as infants are now in their teens, and doctors are experiencing a high number of cases of shingles in teens. This is purely discussion and speculation amongst the medical community, and not in any way to be considered valid research, but it is interesting. I would be curious as to whether there is anyone doing research on this or it is pure speculation and propoganda. I have been menaing to look into it further but just never found the time.

Catherine - posted on 01/05/2011

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I used to think the same way you do -- that chicken pox isn't serious -- but then I met someone who had to have both of his legs amputated due to a complication of the chicken pox (the lesions got infected and he got gangrene). He had been perfectly healthy prior to this, and it was just a rare complication of the disease. After I met him, I decided to have my son vaccinated since, although rare, complications from the disease can be extremely serious.

Crystal - posted on 01/07/2011

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I posted on another thread about my chicken pox experience.
Chickenpox is not just a hassle for the parents .It is a virus that remains in the body for life, causing the disease Shingles later in life. Espeically when one is debilitated from some other illness. It can cause tumors and neurlagias (unrelenting pain syndrome)

I had chicken pox naturally as a kid. and have had a life time of suffering since. Chickenpox virus resides on the nerves of your body when it goes dormant. Mine chose the ones in my brain and face. I had extreme pain in my teeth and face for years. Begged to have several root canals in teeth that the dentist said were fine...it didn't help. When I was pregnant with my second child, the virus woke and caused Ramsey Hunt syndrome in the right side of my face. My face and neck were paralysed for over a year. Nerves regenerated after the event but not to the proper places. After Several years of excruciating headaches. was diagnosed with a brain tumor...caused by my body trying to encapsulate the chickenpox virus. I had 17 hours of open cranial surgery, Had to learn to eat, walk, talk, and read again. Some things are gone for ever, I can not add or subtract to save my soul. Numbers are so frustrating, they just do not make sense at all. Sometimes my right hand does what my brain is telling my left hand to do. I get tired very easily

And the virus is Still there living in my nerve tissue, causing burning and lightning like spikes of pain. I have had several cases of Shingles. Shingles are very painful..Many older people get them when they are fighting cancer or stroke and it can be the final straw.

I take several very powerful drugs every day to keep things in check enough to function. These drugs are hard on the body. some are liver toxic and require that I get blood tests monthly. All of them have side effects that are unpleasant, weight gain, constipation, gastric reflux, bruising and tenderness., lethargy. The nerves that have regrown to the wrong places make my eye water when I chew or talk. My facial muscles contract when I talk or smile very much and it is painful and very disconcerting to my fellow humans to see my face twitch and jump. In December I had 53 injections of Botox in one side of my face to try to calm the contractions. and thankfully it works pretty well.

All of this has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars...with insurance. I'm only 45, I've lived with pain and agony since I was 10. My ancestors have lived regularly into their 90's...the after effects of chicken pox are not deadly for the most part. although, if the tumor reoccurs...which it probably will. I'll probably not seek treatment.. I'll be living with this a long time to come.

That is my experience. I am for vaccinating. (for all diseases).

Lissa - posted on 01/06/2011

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I had a bad case of the chicken pox as a child and literally everyone in my small school contracted it at some point over a 2 month period. I honestly don't really remember it apparently I was delirious for most of the two weeks I was ill. I had them up my nose, eyelids and also in very delicate places. My eldest had them at 4 and like me he doesn't really remember because he was out of it most of the time with a terrifyingly high temp, I remember one particular night trying to keep him distracted while in cool bath by counting the spots on his face and neck we gave up at 100. He screamed day and night in pain and itchiness, we barely slept for two weeks, he was physically sick, it was awful.
My younger had them at the same time with about a dozen spots each and barely felt ill.
So that's my experience it can be a very mild illness but can also be very serious, I personally would have done if it had been an option with mine.

Krista - posted on 01/05/2011

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One thing to keep in mind as well is that if you contract chicken pox, you have a chance of getting shingles when you're older. Basically, the varicella virus, which had lain dormant since your bout of the chicken pox, perks back up. It causes a rash on one side of your body, usually on the torso. It also causes excruciating nerve pain after the rash clears -- sometimes for days, sometimes for weeks. In some people, the pain is debilitating enough that they have to miss work. Some people get the rash on their face, and if it gets in their eyes, it can cause blindness.



So yes, getting a vaccine for the chicken pox is definitely worthwhile.



I wish there'd been a vaccine when I was younger. I had the chicken pox when I was 14 and now have scarring from it. As well, I've had shingles outbreaks three times now, and they are very, very painful. And it's very frightening to know that someday, I could get an outbreak on my face, and could conceivably wind up blinded by it if things go badly.

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Krista - posted on 02/08/2011

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Oh my goodness, Crystal. I'm so sorry to hear that you've gone through so much hell with shingles. I wish that every anti-vaxxer who thinks that chickenpox is "no big deal" would read your tale. I also get shingles outbreaks, but they've (so far) been confined to my torso. I wish you well and hope that you enjoy better health into the future.

Jenn - posted on 02/08/2011

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I got my kids vaccinated against it. To me the benefits outweighed any possible risks. Kids do die from chicken pox, and once you have it you can then get shingles later in life which is much more painful. No chicken pox = no shingles.

Crystal - posted on 02/08/2011

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Both of my girls got the chicken pox vaccine at 12 months and are fine i'd say get it better safe than sorry

Betty - posted on 01/07/2011

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I would get the shot to make it easier on the child if they happen to get it. Especially if there are any with disabilties. I have a daughter that is disabled with a low immune system so I make sure she has all her shots. I had the pox when I was young and I had them when my disabled daughter got them when she was younger. It seems worse when you're older and the second time. She has also had Shingles and the best remedy for them is to dab on a little bragg apple cider vinegar make sure the vinegar is all natural with the mother. it is the best kind. Also pure aloe vera gel with a few drops of pure peppermint oil mixed in. Both are great for soothing the itch and burn. Using these products my daughters shingles started healing within a few days and they were a life saver as her doctor was out of the office for the week at the time.

Tyrae - posted on 01/06/2011

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I've heard that getting the chicken pox vaccine makes the child immune to it, but it wears off when they are older and can get it as an adult instead which is so much worse. I'm not sure if it's true or not, you'd probably have to ask a doctor. I'm not against vaccinations, I actually have an appt for my 7 week old to be getting hers soon, so I'm not trying to make you not get it.

I got the chicken pox as a kid also, during a chicken pox party, me and my two sisters all had it at the same time so I don't see the point of getting that particular vaccine. I'm truly not sure why they have it, just ask your doctor :)

Marijke - posted on 01/06/2011

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My LG, now 17 months just had chickenpox and it wasn't too bad - her cousin had it at the same time (they are in the same daycare) and he was much worse.

The thing is, here in SA the vaccine has been out of stock for a year now. The other illnesses (tummy bug and severe flu) she had when starting daycare was much worse than the chickenpox

Amanda - posted on 01/06/2011

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Varicella, or chickenpox, is usually a benign, self-limited, primary infection that affects approximately 4 million children per year in the United States. Varicella also accounts for significant morbidity (4000 hospitalizations per year) and mortality (50-100 deaths per year) in otherwise healthy children; moreover, the annual cost of chickenpox has been estimated at $400 million in medical costs and lost wages in the past. Universal immunization against varicella was first recommended in 1995 and has lead to a reduction in mortality, varicella-related hospitalizations, and hospital-related charges for children and adults in the United States.

Canada took away the chicken pox vaccine when my middle child was young. His older sister brought home chicken pox when they were around 7 and 8. She was fine (she got her shot), 10 to 20 poxs, she was back in school within a week. Her brother on the other hand was off school at least 2 weeks. I spent many nights up watching his tempature (debating if an ER visit was needed or not). I also spent each night holding his hands in mine so he would not itch his poxs and get an infection. He had 100s of poxs, in every hole of his body. It was the scariest part of my 13 years of parenting so far. So when it came to giving my youngest child (2 years old) immuizations, there was zero thought about it, she is up to date. (btw I am a reformed anti immuization mother, as soon as my son got well, both my children got up to date on all their shots, and have been since).

Bek - posted on 01/06/2011

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Jocelyn, you reminded me... and it's a bit off topic, but when it comes to your children, it is always your choice weather to vaccinate or not. Most schools require it but there are wavers if you decide not too. I highly recommend vaccinations and believe they are for the good of all children, but when it comes to our children, don't give up your choices concerning them or before you know it, big brother will be raising our children and we won't have any say in it at all.

Jocelyn - posted on 01/06/2011

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Some kids do die from the Chicken pox (but I have never heard first hand of anyone dying of it). But that being said, my son (first born) got the vax only because I didn't know I had a choice in the matter. My daughter (second child) didn't get the vax. If you decide not to get it now, you can always get the vax later.

Bek - posted on 01/06/2011

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Another thing to ask your doc about is that a very, very few children actually get the pox from the vaccine.

Bek - posted on 01/06/2011

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Being an "older" mom, we didn't have the vaccine when mine where little, and the "thing" at the time was to expose your child to the pox so you could get it over with faster. I didn't realize until later how dangerous it could be. I had the pox as a youngster and both my children did as well. (at the same time.) The biggest issue with them was the scars that it left. But there are so many "illnesses" they are discovering like autism and ADD that they only have theories about where they come from, so I say, better safe than sorry, but I would discuss it with your daughters doc before making the decision.

Amy - posted on 01/06/2011

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I would just look up the information on it. It's a 50/50 either way. I mean, if your child gets chicken pox naturally they will have the current strain to boost their immunity. If they get a vaccine that happens to be an older strain or something, they could get chicken pox twice. old and new strain. most people in large cities now are having "pox parties" so kids are exposed to it to get it over with. Not something I'd do. Our doctor even told us that it wasn't worth it and that he didn't vax his kids for chicken pox. And it is RARE that anyone dies from chicken pox in this day and age.

Callie - posted on 01/06/2011

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My daughter will definitely be getting her chicken pox vaccination. My brother, sister and I all had the chicken pox at the same time when we were little. We also ended up with strep throat at the same time we had chicken pox. It was a very dangerous situation. We were all put on heavy antibiotics and our parents had to keep a 24 hour watch on us (they had strict instructions on what constitute a trip to the er). Chicken pox are open sores that can lead to serious problems if they get infected (like with strep). My parents were told they had to keep us from scratching (impossible) because it could lead to a staph infection that could enter the blood and possibly kill us. Fortunately the antibiotics and very proactive doctors prevented anything very serious from happening to us. But in my mind chicken pox can be a very serious illness and I'm definitely going to get my daughter vaccinated.

Jane - posted on 01/05/2011

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Chicken pox can still be very serious so now that they can vaccinate for it, I'd say get it. I'm 51 and had measles, mumps, german measles and chicken pox but now, kids don't have to get them because science has the ability to stop kids from getting them. I wish that they had the chicken pox vaccine when my 20 and 17 year old kids were little. They both had the chicken pox and it was miserable for EVERYONE!

Tee - posted on 01/05/2011

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My oldest never had the vac and had chicken pox twice. The first case was very mild - only 10 pox on his body. The 2nd time he had a good dose of it and gave it to me. I ended up with chicken pox so bad I was in ICU for 3 weeks and my father actually moved out of the house (he has never had them). The doctors said that I was the worst case they had ever seen in an adult or child. My younger 2 both have had the vac for them. I guess I was just too healthy as a child so I have been getting hit with the childhood stuff from my kids :-(

Andrea - posted on 01/05/2011

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My son who was born a preemie has a low immune system and seems to get the severe end of most illnesses he catches so I got him vaccinated for everything!

Stifler's - posted on 01/05/2011

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The chicken pox vax is 18 months on the panadol vaccination chart thing i have too. I had chicken pox when I was 4 ouch. I think I'll be giving logan the vaccination! I know a kid who got it twice and it's really dangerous the second time apparently.

Laura - posted on 01/05/2011

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While it's true that a few kids do die from chicken pox, those children generally have compromised immune systems and pre-existing conditions that make chicken pox so dangerous for them. The vast majority of people, adults included, get over the chicken pox naturally with few complications. I know this from experience: After my daughter was born, I got the chicken pox, from where I don't know, at the age of 32. I do have a pre-existing health concern, but that didn't stop my immune system from taking care of the virus. Within a few days I started recovering, though I looked like heck! It's a really good thing I came down with them first because my 7 week old daughter then came down with them! She was breastfeeding at the time so my breast milk had the antibodies in it--it was liquid medicine for her. She was never hospitalized and got over them just fine. It WAS scary for a few days though! In her case, she was actually too young to even get the vaccine. Needless to say, she's never needed one either.

So to answer your question, "sure" the vaccine will save parents the problems with having to care for a sick child for a week and "yes" the vaccine might even save a few kids' lives. But the issue isn't just about parental hassles; it's also about missed school days and contagion. Chicken pox can be spread quite easily in schools because you are actually contagious before you start to show symptoms. In fact, many school systems require chicken pox vaccinations (or proof of having had the disease) before children can enroll in kindergarten. Hope this answers your question well enough. Good luck!

Tabby - posted on 01/05/2011

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I don't ever remember having chicken pox but I have a scar so I know I had them... I didn't realize it could be so serious. Everyone I knew had a few days of itching and spots but nothing major. Thanks ladies!

Jodi - posted on 01/05/2011

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Personally, I was also unsure about this one. I guess because it was new. My son didn't have it, because it didn'[t come out until he was older, and he ended up having Chicken Pox. It was only a mild dose. With my daughter, I held off. We are supposed to have them doen at 18 months here on our schedule, but I didn't. But once she turned 4, given she hadn't had them and was starting school, I decided to get her the vaccination, because I knew that chicken pox can be worse the older the kids get.

Anyway, that was my reasoning :)

Bonnie - posted on 01/05/2011

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Some cases of chicken pox can be really bad and cause death especially when older. I believe both my kids have had their vaccination as they are up to date with theirs. I have never had chicken pox and neither has my brother so I am hoping and praying I never get it.

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Some kids do die from the chicken pox. I was kind of iffy on this one, but all my kids did get it. I think my son was around 18 months when he got his done... I did a slightly delayed vax schedule w/ him.

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