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have you given your child the chicken pox vaccine

(237 Posts)
passivehoovering Thu 30-Aug-12 15:35:17

Hi all,

DD is 3.5 and is about to start her second year at nursery. She hasn't had chicken pox, and I really don't want her to. I don't want my darling child to get ill, feel bed, get scars, have awful complications, be seperated from her friends...So I was thinking about getting the Chicken pox vacine for her. I have mooted this with friends who also have children but they seem to want their kids to get chicken pox so I am wavering a bit.

If you have vacinated your children could you tell me how you went about it and where you found info? I don't know if I should try her GP in the first instance and ask them for info from Medline and if they know of anywhere that does the vacine. Also how was your child after? Anything else you can tell me would be much appreciated too.

Thanks

CatherinaJTV Thu 30-Aug-12 16:31:29

I got my daughter the chicken pox vaccine when she was 4. She had no side effects whatsoever and the vaccine "held" beautifully when her little brother (too young to be vaccinated) caught chicken pox a year later. I am very happy that I only had to deal with one child at the time.

I wasn't in the UK then, but I should imagine that you just call your practise and talk to whoever does travel vaccines there. You may have to pay for the shot, but as I said, I consider it totally worth every penny!

passivehoovering Thu 30-Aug-12 16:52:16

thanks CatherinaJTV. I am glad the vaccine worked for your family. I will call my GP but any "real life" stories still welcome, as I am a bit wibbly going against the percieved wisdom of "letthing them catch it, and early"

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Thu 30-Aug-12 16:56:49

My son had the cp vaccine when he was 2.
His sister had leukaemia so it was to protect her.

He did get CP when he was 7 but it was very, very mild and he was not ill at all.
If it was part of the vaccination programme I would have it for my DC 5 .

I have never understood the way our society views CP as inevitable and even desirable.

passivehoovering Thu 30-Aug-12 17:05:19

I know OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere, why would you want your child to be ill? So a vaccinated child may still get Chicken pox then? Do they need top up shots.

I didn't get mine vaccinated as I hadn't even heard of the vaccine before they got it anyway aged 5 and 2.

I don't know enough about it but perhaps there is an issue with the number of vaccines children have already? Do they really need another one when chickenpox for the vast majority it is a minor illness that is more of an inconvience than anything else, little worse than a cold for most children over the age of 1 and less severe than the other things that children get vaccinated against. Situations like MrsDeVere's excepted of course - I am not for one moment saying that nobody should have it. The only children I have known who have suffered and indeed been hospitalised with chickenpox are those who would have been too young, probably, for the vaccine anyway (less than 6 months old).

If you were worried about vaccine overload on little bodies, would chickenpox be the one not to bother with for most people?

Just playing devils advocate really. As I say I am not an expert but I would prefer less not more vaccines. My two have had all those that they are supposed to have but I wouldn't want them to have more.

NatashaBee Thu 30-Aug-12 17:17:47

I live in America, CP vaccination is standard here. The doctor did tell me that the vaccination program does push up the risk of shingles in adults, as the vaccine immunity wears off and older people then catch shingles, maybe that's why they don't vaccinate in the UK.

passivehoovering Thu 30-Aug-12 17:20:01

Hi BigBoobedBertha,

yes, I think that is what my friends think, however I am not really sure of the science behind it. I am not really worried about vaccine overload as I have read a little bit and that doesn't seem to be a problem.

I don't want her to get scars on her body, and if she is "well" I don't want to have to tell her she can't go out. It would mean me not being able to go out either! I would go mad at home ffor 5 days, not even being able to pop out for milk! ALso if she does get it I wouldn't neccessarily know till I had spread it to work, I work with some imunosuppresed people. I have had cancer in the last coupkle of years, and although I have had chicken pox, I don't fancy getting shingles. I could also spread it on the tube and bus without knowing it. Am I overthinking?

passivehoovering Thu 30-Aug-12 17:21:05

Ah Natasha, that does make sense and shingles is horrid I hear. I wonder if there will be a vaccine for that though, by the time DD is an adult.

tunnocksteacake Thu 30-Aug-12 17:26:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

passivehoovering Thu 30-Aug-12 17:32:08

cheers tunnocks smile

I didn't think you could get shingles from chickenpox, only the other way round (which is how I caught incidentally). I thought shingles was triggered by stress more than anything else, plus a compromised immune system so your DD getting chickenpox won't put you at any more risk of getting shingles. You already have the dormant virus in your body.

That said, in your situation passivehoovering, it sounds like you have more reason than most to give your DD the vaccine given your work and your own medical history. The chances of you being able to pass on the illness to somebody else who hasn't had contact with your DD are v. slim but I can understand why you wouldn't want to risk it. I reckon the GP has to be your best bet.smile

happygilmore Thu 30-Aug-12 19:04:55

I gave DD (aged 2) the vaccine. It was £90 for 2 doses (booster given 6 weeks after the first jab) and I found a private clinic locally that did it.

It was an easy decision for me after researching it, it seems to me that the only reason the NHS haven't gone ahead with it as part of the vaccination schedule is cost. I appreciate chicken pox can be relatively mild, but it certainly isn't always, and in any case it was worth it to me to hopefully spare DD from it in the future.

ElaineBenes Thu 30-Aug-12 19:06:42

When we lived in the UK, we wanted to give our dd the cp booster. She'd had the first vax when we lived abroad. My GP refused to do it. Apparently it's too much hassle for them to get the vaccine for just one child. I did find a place not too far from us which would do it for about 50 pounds - but then we found out that we were moving to the US so I decided to wait and get it done here.

Both of my kids had the CP vax. So glad I did. I know it's usually a mild illness and if we had to deal with it, we would, of course. But I'm delighted I've managed to prevent my children going through the misery of CP and having to be 2 weeks off school (and me or dh off work). Not forgetting, of course, that CP can be dangerous. Rare, that's true, but still less rare than any side effects from the vaccine. And even the minor complications like infected pox that kids can get, no, not for my kids if at all avoidable. I've seen what some of their friends have gone through.

here's why do vaccinate against cp in the UK

Of course, the anti-vax folk who deny herd immunity would also deny the increase in shingles argument (well, they don't but that's because they don't like vaccines, full stop). After all, since vaccines have no effect on the probability of exposure to a disease for the unvaccinated, rolling out a CP vaccine would have no effect on exposure to shingles for the eldery, no?

passivehoovering Thu 30-Aug-12 22:34:21

Bigboobedbertha, I see, yes the shingles/cp thing makes sense. I don't do a madly exiting medical job, just axregular office, but about half of is are imunosuppresed for one reason or other and the other half have just come back from maternity leave...

And thanks too happy and Elaine. I wish I had thought of vaccinating dd before we moved house and gp surgery, our old gp would gave had no problems getting us the vaccine I am sure. This new one is a bit of an unknown so far, but I guess if they can't help I can just go on line. I live in London so will probably be Spoilt for choice.

Thanks all

LeBFG Fri 31-Aug-12 07:15:55

I have a little questions regarding the cp vaccine. I'm not so worried about DS catching cp when young...I worry more about if he doesn't and has it later on as adults. Strangely, this is what happened to me and my two sisters and two neices. We were all hit quite heavily (at different times too). What are the dangers of catching cp for the first time later on in life? Is it more dangerous when a child gets it?

happygilmore Fri 31-Aug-12 08:52:01

I believe it is generally more unpleasant if you're older. I think if you have not had it by age 12 you can get the vaccine on the NHS.

SunflowersSmile Fri 31-Aug-12 09:08:33

My ds had first vaccine [55pounds travel clinic]. Due second very soon. I have noticed different advice re booster timing- 6 weeks? few years? Any advice from those who have vaccinated? Ta.
Op- selfishly it was for my convenience mainly that I vaccinated.

bakingaddict Fri 31-Aug-12 09:09:45

As NatashaBee said the reason we dont vaccinate in this country is that chickenpox is a relatively mild self limiting disease in young children but if you vaccinate you push the disease from being one of childhood to one of adulthood.

CP is adults is nasty, more aggresive and more likely to require hospitalisation so even with a vaccination programme in place as immunity wanes you will still get a large proportion of the population vunreable to CP. So it becomes a 2 fold cost, the cost of rolling out the vaccination programme and the cost of hospitalising people through catching it at a later/advanced age

passivehoovering Fri 31-Aug-12 09:32:11

Hi baking, but I think natashab was talking about getting shingles later in life, rather than chicken pox? However I do need to do some proper research as I wouldn't want dd to get I'll because of a decision I made.

expatinscotland Fri 31-Aug-12 09:35:13

My 3.8 year old son had it because our eldest had a stem cell transplant for treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia. The vaccine itself went fine and he had no after-effects.

bakingaddict Fri 31-Aug-12 09:56:32

Hoovering you have to have had a previous primary infection with CP in order to get shingles, chickenpox is the name of the disease, Varicella Zoster Virus is the name of the actual virus causing it and itself is part of the Herpes family. Basically shingles is re-activation of latent VZV which resides in your nerve endings. You cant get shingles without first having had CP

If you've never had CP as a child, then you'll get a primary CP infection in adulthood, not shingles, which is much more severe, hence as I said earlier, the reason we dont yet vaccinate in this country as it's just easier for kids to have it a young age unless there is issues about immunosuppression such as those of expatinscotland

LeBFG Fri 31-Aug-12 10:38:06

Could you elaborate on the severer symptoms in adults please bakingaddict? I'd prefer to pick your brains (and other knowledgable mners) than randomly google.

I know a couple of adults who have had CP and they were laid up like they would be with a bad case of flu. It is very nasty and can take weeks rather than days to get over unlike the majority of children. The complication are usually pneumonia type illnesses.

That said the stats I have read suggest that 90% of children have had it by the age of 12 so you would have to be pretty unlucky to have avoided it in childhood and then be poleaxed by it in adulthood. That doesn't mean it won't happen of course!

bakingaddict Fri 31-Aug-12 12:00:45

Like BBB also states in kids it's like a minor cold and they recover in a matter of days but in adults LeBFG it takes longer to recover, sometimes up till 8 weeks and then obviously you can get complications such as bacterial infections, VZV pneumonitis and VZV encephalitis, which is extremely rare.

I wouldn't bother getting the vaccination for my kids, DS had it when he was 18months old from the CM's and he was uncomfortable and itchy for only 1 night and then was back to his old self albeit just a bit more spotty than usual.

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