Chicken pox Vaccine
The chicken pox vaccine is also known as the varicella vaccine. (Varicella is the medical term for chicken pox.) It is good for our kids health as it protects our children from getting chicken pox and also from getting shingles later on in life. In many countries you have to pay for the chicken pox vaccine.
Chicken Pox Vaccine Schedule
The chicken pox (varicella zoster) vaccine is not routinely available on the NHS. In the UK you have to pay for it privately. It costs around £100 in total. Some places advocate 1 dose, some 2. To be on the safe side, I'd go for 2.
The first dose is at age 1.
The second is normally at age 4.
Chicken pox vaccine protects your Children.
- Mild Chicken Pox
- Nasty Chicken Pox
- Complications of Chicken Pox (such as pneumonia)
- Dying from Chicken Pox
- Chicken Pox in adult life
Although chicken pox is a common childhood illness, it isn't without it's side effects. The most common being shingles later in life.
There are other complications that occur in children and some even die of chicken pox.
Even if you have bog standard chicken pox, it's not particularly nice and can last a couple of weeks. (Some people can be very mildly ill but that isn't the norm.)
If you don’t get varicella as a child, getting it as an adult is generally worse.
Side effects of Chicken Pox Vaccine
- Pain, redness, rash
- Mostly mild
- Severe side effects are rare
The vaccine is safe. Side effects include pain, redness and a rash. Mostly the side effects are mild. Severe side effects are very rare.
Would you Vaccinate your Children against Chicken Pox?
Yes, definitely. I have paid to have my children vaccinated against chicken pox. I hate seeing my children unwell. To me, a sore arm for a day seems much better than the inevitable 2 weeks of misery.
Why is the chicken pox vaccine not available on the NHS?
The government says that it would increase the number of people who get shingles. Shingles is the re-emergence of the virus later on in life. It is a very painful skin illness that elderly people get. When you are exposed to the virus by meeting someone who is carrying the chicken pox virus, you boost your immune system and help prevent shingles coming.
If the government vaccinated all children and reduced the amount of varicella virus about, the argument goes that lots of people would end up with shingles.
Now they have started vaccinating older people against shingles that argument no longer holds. I suspect it's really to do with money.