To think we should routinely vaccinate against chicken pox?

(48 Posts)
FoxPass Tue 19-Mar-13 08:57:40

Oldest ds is nearly 5 and had it a fortnight ago, was really spotty but not too ill. Now youngest ds (2) has it and he is absolutely covered in spots, totally miserable and itchy, hardly able to sleep and trying to claw himself sad I am doing everything I can to make him more comfortable but I feel so vexed for him! Why on earth don't we routinely vaccinate for it? it can be given in special circumstances, and other countries do it. The nhs website doesn't explain why not. It seems so needless for kids to go through this when there's a vaccine angry

WestieMamma Tue 19-Mar-13 09:05:46

Apparantly it's because of cost and the increased risk of shingles.

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8557236.stm

MrsPatrickDempsey Tue 19-Mar-13 09:09:33

YANBU

Purely for the risk the disease poses to vulnerable members if the community.

When I last l

MrsPatrickDempsey Tue 19-Mar-13 09:10:47

sorry

When I last looked in to it though there were reports that the vaccine isn't that effective.

I would choose to take the vaccine if available.

tiggytape Tue 19-Mar-13 09:12:05

Also, it doesn't convey lifelong immunity (natural infection doesn't always either but is less likely to wear off after 10 years than the vaccine).

It is less dangerous to get CP as a child than as a teenager or adult so it is much better to wait until a child reaches 12-15 years of age and then vaccinate if they haven't caught it rather than vaccinate at age 5 and risk it wearing off just when CP becomes more dangerous or leaving them unprotected later in life when pregnant when it can be a real danger to mother and baby.

I can see why it isn't part of the routine vaccines but it should be much more widely available for young adults who believe they have not had CP already.

In countries where it is part of the routine childhood vaccines, there is often economic motive. A bout of CP in a community can lead to thousnads of lost working days and that is deemed unacceptable. We have different ways of deciding about vaccines.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 19-Mar-13 09:12:29

The vaccine does not cover all strains of chicken pox and others have said there is an increased risk of shingles - so as vaccines go not a particularly effective one.
I am very pro-vaccination, but this is one I would decline.

Feminine Tue 19-Mar-13 09:13:40

My daughter had it in the US, its routine there.

Now I'm worried about shingles...

Lamazeroo Tue 19-Mar-13 09:15:48

It's not been deemed to be cost effective for the NHS because 90%+ cases are mild enough not to need any medical attention. Countries who do vaccinate do so because of the effect chicken pox has on the economy rather than the health system (all those parents having to take time off work). Also, the vaccine does not confer lifelong immunity, so it increases the risk of pushing what is usually a mild childhood disease into a more vulnerable older demographic. Catching it while young dies give lifelong immunity. As unpleasant as it is for you now, once it's passed you need not worry about your children again. Sorry they're suffering though.

Iatemyskinnyperson Tue 19-Mar-13 09:17:05

YANBU
Ds1 had them last summer, not too bad. 'This is easy' thought I, 'whats all the big deal about?'

Then DS2 got them. confusedblushsad Was totally destroyed, in his eyes, down his throat, totally covered head to toe. Worst 10 days of my life. (And his too, prolly) Finally went to GP when they started to appear around his eyelashes. He was prescribed Zovirax liquid, which either helped or he was just about to turn the corner anyway.

Wouldn't wish a bad dose on anyone...

Feminine Tue 19-Mar-13 09:17:16

Should I worry as my DD had a vaccine for it as a baby then?

Lamazeroo Tue 19-Mar-13 09:18:21

Cross posts with Tiggytape

TheBigJessie Tue 19-Mar-13 09:18:34

The present vaccination schedule is relatively comprehensive, and thusly already quite controversial. Adding another one for chicken pox, which is pretty mild compared to many of the other diseases for which we vaccinate could damage public confidence in the importance of vaccines. And public confidence in vaccines is already very, very low. For example, I've heard my FIL rambling on about "why do the children need a vaccination against meningitis? We never needed that in my day". hmm

When you then consider that a chicken pox vaccine will increase the incidence of shingles among the elderly, it's pretty much a no-brainer.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 19-Mar-13 09:19:14

Unfortunately Lamazeroo you are incorrect catching it as a child only give you protection against the subtype group of the virus which you had there are 5 subgroups (many individual strains in each subgroup) so it is possible to get chickenpox 5 times. This is part of why the vaccine is ineffective.

expatinscotland Tue 19-Mar-13 09:19:19

DS has the vaccine because DD1 was undergoing chemotherapy last year. DD1 had them very very badly and was poorly for weeks. She was 4.

tunnocksteacake Tue 19-Mar-13 09:19:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tunnocksteacake Tue 19-Mar-13 09:21:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 19-Mar-13 09:22:34

I had it at 18. I had the spots everywhere,it was vile and I wish I'd had it at 6 like the rest of my class.

Orianne Tue 19-Mar-13 11:15:17

My DD(14) has had Shingles 3 times now. Our Doctor has advised her to have the CP vaccine but after reading the above I'm confused. I thought her advice was based on the vaccine being a protection from shingles but that's not what the article is saying or some of you. Any ideas?

Longdistance Tue 19-Mar-13 11:21:33

They give it here in Oz to kids. My dd's haven't had it yet, but would need all the basic vaccines to be able to attend school.

saintlyjimjams Tue 19-Mar-13 11:26:35

No. I'd rather have CP as a child and circulating CP in the community so adults are likely to have decent immunity. Otherwise you risk increased numbers of pregnant mothers catching it, or newborns catching it neither of which is pretty really. Yes it can occasionally be serious (and there may be a case for vaccinating at risk individuals), but it's not (imo) dangerous enough to risk the above through mass vaccination.

saintlyjimjams Tue 19-Mar-13 11:28:33

Also one of the main arguments for giving a chickenpox vaccination (mentioned in the link above) is it stops parents having to take time off work. I don't really want my children taking the (small but exists) risk of vaccine damage just to stop me having to take a day off work.

Convert Tue 19-Mar-13 11:30:45

YANBU all three dc had it just after Christmas. Two youngest weren't too bad but poor ds1 was so ill. His spots got infected and despite not scratching them he has been left with scars on his face. I am so gutted.
I wish I had got them vaccinated privately.

tiggytape Tue 19-Mar-13 12:10:49

The trouble is, because the vaccine doesn't convey immunity for life as reliably as natural infection in childhood, childhood vaccination might risk young adults being left exposed to CP as their vaccine wears off.

And whilst a 'bad' dose of CP in a child might be spots everywhere, great discomfort and sometimes secondary infections (with rare incidents of more serious complications), in adults it is much worse.
A moderate dose in an adult might be 3 weeks of being bed ridden, feverish and truly unwell whereas a bad dose for an adult is viral pneumonia, in intensive care and the real risk of death.
So whilst people might think the 'bad dose' their child had was horrible and wished they'd avoided it, it is generally nothing like as bad as it could be if their children caught CP as an adult instead.

About 75% of deaths directly caused by chicken pox occur in previously healthy adults despite adults making up a tiny percentage of those who contract chicken pox each year.

whoamiiam Tue 19-Mar-13 12:24:54

I don't really know anything about the vaccination against chicken pox, only my experience of it.

Ds had chicken pox at 2.5 very badly. He was so poorly. Ds now has epilepsy and has a combination of absence and possble focal seizures which I'm convinced he didn't have before the chicken pox.

I asked the neuroligist if they are connected and he said its very possible.

I do believe ds had neurological issues pre chicken pox and always had febrile convulsions, very high temperatures and developmental delay. But I think the chicken pox aggravatted his neuro problems to bring on the seizures.

He also got a secondary infection in some spots like covert's ds, despite not scratching, and that took several courses of antibiotics to clear up. He also now has scars on his tummy and face.

Having said that I also had shingles as a teenager and was sooo ill, so don't really know what's better.... hmm

whoamiiam Tue 19-Mar-13 12:26:38

Meant convert sorry blush

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