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Chicken pox vaccine study letter from GSK

(12 Posts)
suspiciousofgoldfish Tue 15-Mar-16 14:20:43

I received a letter today from GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals in partnership with a local NHS university hospital. It offers the chance to sign my 20 MO up in a study for a new chicken pox vaccine that has had the HSA (human serum albumin) removed.

Basically you sign up for free and your child has a 50/50 chance of either receiving the 'old' vaccine with HSA, or this new one with the HSA removed.

Has anyone else had this letter? I have looked online at the chicken pox vaccine and can only seem to find info on the one that people have paid to have. Does anyone know anything about this new one? Anyone's kids had it?

Apparently this new vaccine was only approved in 2013. There is a website but it reads a bit like a pharmaceutical advert, I.e not particularly impartial.

Would love to hear your experiences/opinions if you have any? I wasn't even aware there was a chicken pox vaccine!

TheAussieProject Tue 15-Mar-16 21:32:48

Yes there is a chicken pox vaccine and I would urge you to do it, because chicken pox is not as gentle as many describes it, just some itchy spots. Chicken pox can be very dangerous and there is a vaccine which works perfectly and either you don't get it or you just have a very very mild case.

This said, I would never enroll my child for a trial. Sorry. The old one works, is safe , I am not taking any risk. i would decline.

suspiciousofgoldfish Wed 16-Mar-16 19:53:16

You are right Aussie, thanks for your reply.

I wasn't sure if this vaccine trial was widely regarded as safe or not, but I suppose if they knew, they wouldn't be doing the trial!
Will be declining.

TheAussieProject Thu 17-Mar-16 02:46:23

I think it is very wise, but do vaccinate your child against chickenpox.

anklebitersmum Thu 17-Mar-16 03:03:29

The UK don't do the chickenpox vaccine as standard like they do in Australia. Most children just get chickenpox. Chickenpox parties so everyone catches it are not unusual grin

Lweji Thu 17-Mar-16 03:09:48

If the only difference is removing one component, I don't see how it would make it unsafe.
If anything it could be less effective than the previous vaccine. But not less safe per se.
Afaik, the current vaccine does not work exactly perfectly, which may be why they're doing this test.

suspiciousofgoldfish Thu 17-Mar-16 07:02:59

Would you sign your child up anklebiter and lweji?

I thought that most people just let their kids get CP and then it was out of the way, until I came onto this topic and saw that people vaccinate.

trollopolis Thu 17-Mar-16 07:08:30

If they've got to the stage of rollout to infants, it must have passed a number of trials.

If people did not enrol children on trials, there would be no new, safer vaccines licensed for them (eg the acellular whooping cough vaccine) or the first 'trials would be population level roll out. They could not have the flu jab, and the meningitis jabs would probably be out too.

You either agree with the testing regime, and all the checks and balances before later trials and eventual roll out, or you don't . It's not compulsory to have any vaccine.

anklebitersmum Thu 17-Mar-16 07:56:50

I don't know about an experimental vaccine but, had I been given the option of an established vaccine when I was vaccinating then, yes, I'm pretty sure I would have.

I guess, truth be told I'd have to do my homework, chat to DH and decide from there as regard a trial.

Lweji Thu 17-Mar-16 08:12:12

My issue is more to do with the vaccine itself. It needs a booster for protection closer go 100%, but there's the risk of disease in adults, for vaccine failures.

But, assuming you are happy vaccinating with the normal vaccine, the trial should check if lack of one component still elicits the same immunity. If not, I'm pretty sure they'll then give your child the normal vaccine.
Possible advantages are that (and I'm assuming that they'll test this) you will know how your child responded to the vaccine and if it's protected or not.
As such, I think I'd actually prefer to enrol than the normal vaccine only.

Having said that, they have to demonstrate informed consent, so, if you consider enrolling, do read carefully the conditions and ask as many questions as you think you need.

WannaBe Thu 17-Mar-16 08:19:52

The question is whether you would vaccinate your child against chicken pox and based on that decision whether you would then be prepared to enter into a trial.

Personally I wouldn't vaccinate against CP and no invitation to do so would make me change my mind. Fwiw I am not anti vaccination but believe that we do over vaccinate against some illnesses and would question why chicken pox which is a mild childhood illness in the vast majority of cases has suddenly been escalated into this supposed serious killer which children ought to be vaccinated against. The potential for serious implications in adulthood are far worse than in childhood, and as the life-long immunity is not guaranteed at this stage I wouldn't put my child at risk of adult complications by vaccinating. Most children will catch chicken pox as children and will then have life-long immunity.

While I would never have attended or held a chicken pox party, I would assume that most children will have caught it when they're young.

suspiciousofgoldfish Thu 17-Mar-16 20:57:03

Very interesting points, thanks everyone for your thoughts. Will do some more research before deciding.

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