Chickenpox is a highly infectious disease caused after becoming infected by the Varicella Zoster Virus.

Whilst is causes misery in children, it is more significant in adults.

It can lead to pneumonia, bacterial skin infections and rarely but significantly inflammation of the brain.

It is passed by spreading through the air but can also be passed by touching and contact with the lesions which have a classical appearance. Those with Chickenpox should be kept away from school / work until the lesions have scabbed.

This is normally 5 days after the last set of lesions appear.

Affected individuals should also not fly/ travel until they have been cleared to do so by medically qualified staff.  (We undertake such assessments) 

This live vaccine gives protection of up to 98% in children against chickenpox. Slightly less in adults. 

Its is a routine vaccination in countries like USA, Australia, Italy

Rarely those who have been vaccinated like those who have had the natural disease can get chickenpox in general the disease is usually milder.  

How many doses are needed?

In the UK the Varilrix vaccine is licensed to be given to adults and children over the age of  9 months old. Two doses are given, at 8 weeks apart.

Certificate of Immunity

For those who need evidence of previous Chickenpox vaccination or disease we can arrange blood immunity tests. Results of which are back the following day.

 

Contra-indictaions include

An acute illness

Previous allergic reaction to Chickenpox vaccine

Impaired immune response and drugs affecting immune response

Specialist advice should be sought for those being treated with high doses of corticosteroids (dose equivalents of prednisolone: adults, at least 40 mg daily for more than 1 week; children, 2 mg/kg (or more than 40 mg) daily for at least 1 week or 1 mg/ kg daily for 1 month), or other immunosuppressive drugs

Patients being treated for malignant conditions with chemotherapy or generalised radiotherapy.

 

Postponed

Live vaccines should be postponed until at least 3 months after stopping high-dose systemic corticosteroids and at least 6 months after stopping other immunosuppressive drugs or generalised radiotherapy

At least 12 months after discontinuing immunosuppressants following bone-marrow transplantation

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