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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Chicken pox - Should I immunise

(15 Posts)
snowydrops Tue 22-Mar-16 15:23:06

Dropped DD2 (just 1yr) off at nursery this morning to be told they've had a child call in with Chickepox (spots came out this morning) who was in the nursery setting (small nursery of 10) last week and I think yesterday. DD2 hasn't been in contact with the child but has been with other children who have been if that makes sense.

DD1 (4yrs) may or may not have had chickenpox a couple of years back, she had a few (maybe 10?) small but chicken pox likes spots, temperature, generally a bit unwell and we thought it was possibly chicken pox but that was when she was 2. No other sign of it so perhaps not been exposed again or is immune. She is at the nursery for after school clubs 2 days a week, will not have played directly with the child who is ill for some time.

I am contemplating vaccinating both (at a cost of £200!) because I've read that it can either stop the illness altogether or significantly reduce symptoms. I'm normally the first to refuse a vaccine but of late both DD's have had several illnesses, particularly DD2 who has been on and off ill for the last 4 months! I really don't want her to be poorly over her Easter holidays.

Any advice? Has anyone vaccinating following a possible exposure?

juneau Wed 23-Mar-16 10:06:13

I really wouldn't bother. My DS1 was immunised because we lived in the US until he was 2 and immunising is standard there, but he caught CP when we moved back here and he didn't even have a mild dose - he had about 200 spots and a really miserable week. Another girl at his nursery who was immunised caught it too, so its not a particularly effective vaccine IME.

Abigail12 Wed 23-Mar-16 10:07:05

Never heard of a chicken pox vaccine... We were all told to invite all the kids to a chicken pox party when some kid got it. Much better they get it as a child and get it over with, can be very serious if you get it as an adult.

Abigail12 Wed 23-Mar-16 10:11:06

OK just Googled the vaccine, and I think that unless your children have some serious medical condition that they would need it, then no definitely not. Just get it over with.

Twinkie1 Wed 23-Mar-16 10:12:39

I vaccinated DD3 as was fucked off with her picking up everything under the sun and she has an underlying condition which means we struggle even more when she picks up things.

DS1 had it 3 times and each time it was worse and I couldn't handle watching her go through the same.

Every time there is a note from preschool or nursery saying they have a case of it I feel happy that she won't be getting it.

FishWithABicycle Wed 23-Mar-16 10:13:12

There is no point vaccinating after possible exposure. If they have been exposed then there are already live chickenpox cells in their system and if dd1 is already immune she won't get ill and if she isn't she may. A vaccine triggers the same immune response by using dead virus cells to mimic the live ones. It would have zero effect on someone who has already been infected.

BeaArthursUnderpants Wed 23-Mar-16 10:15:54

I'm American and yes, chicken pix vaccine is now standard. It's not just to protect against chicken pox but also shingles, which comes from the chicken pox virus years after you've had CP and can be really awful and cause permanent nerve damage. I'm not necessarily saying you should vaccinate, OP, and frankly I'm not sure if it even takes effect right away, so you would really be doing it for ghe future rather than this particular exposure.

I will say, though, that the whole chicken pox party thing is incredibly stupid. CP is not just uncomfortable and some kids can get extremely ill. And there's no guarantee they would ever have gotten it if you didn't expose them.

blaeberry Wed 23-Mar-16 10:17:17

I suspect vaccination now would be too late to have any impact on this exposure. In the US all kids are vaccinated and that lowers the incidence of it in the general population and therefore protects those at real risk from chicken pox. The vaccine does not infer lifelong immunity so they need a high vaccination rate to ensure adults don't then catch it.

Do not have or go to a chicken pox party - yes it is generally less serious in children than adults but a very few children do still have very bad reactions to it.

Abigail12 Wed 23-Mar-16 11:00:35

Sorry I meant when I was a child 30+ years ago we were sent to chicken pox parties. I wouldn't do that now,but I wouldn't go totally our my way to avoid it either. My kids both had cp at a very young age,and yes it was horrific but better that than get it when they are adults. I'm in UK and they don't recommend vaccination here.

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snowydrops Wed 23-Mar-16 11:49:00

Decided against it! Probably better just to get it over with whilst we have no holidays / important events coming up anyway!

ArielBelleElsa Wed 23-Mar-16 14:59:53

My dd had a very serious case of chicken pox a year ago. She was covered but particularly on her face. She was left scarred and has at least 15 very visible pock marks on her face even a year later. She's only 3.5 now and I've found the last year traumatic as she's gone from having perfect skin to having deep and obvious pockmarks in the centre of her face. So my advice would be to vaccinate if it would prevent suffering and scarring. X

2010sll Thu 24-Mar-16 22:32:25

I have vaccinated my daughter and yes, it can prevent cp following exposure if given within a certain timeframe. It's not been proved to be life long as it's not been around for a lifetime. Japan have been doing it for 30 years. USA 20 and Australia are not far behind that. Germany vaccinate as do other countries and plenty recommend but don't fund it. 2 doses have been proven to have a better immunological response than the original 1 dose recommendation.

FishWithABicycle Fri 25-Mar-16 03:01:03

One of the reasons that we don't have the immunisation as standard in the UK is that research has shown that as an adult who has immunity from having had chicken pox as a child, occasional exposure to chicken pox during adulthood has a significant beneficial effect in preventing Shingles. If we started immunising all children against cp there would be a significant increase in adult shingles. If you do get your children vaccinated it's wise to also pay for Shingles vaccination for yourself and DP.

2010sll Fri 25-Mar-16 12:20:44

Shingles vaccination is only available to the over 50's privately. You can get it on nhs if you are of a specific age group 70+. A young person won't be given it as it as there has not been (to the best of my knowledge) any clinical trials on younger age groups. One of the benefits of the CP vaccine is that those that have it should have a significantly reduced chance of having shingles in the future. If they do get shingles it should be milder. I say should as nothing is 100% and vaccines have different effects on different people. The main reason we do not have cp vaccine in uk is cost. Yes, there is the shingles immunity boosting theory but shingles hasn't risen in those countries that do vaccinate. Well, it has but was pre-vaccine era. Obviously the uk continues to monitor data of this. There are clinical trials being held in the uk currently to trial a new version of the cp vaccine. The JCVI continue to consider introducing this vaccine and its discussed at their meetings.

www.chickenpoxvaccinestudy.co.uk

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