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Chicken Pox vaccine in Devon

(8 Posts)
megane Tue 16-Jun-15 10:26:15

Hi all, I'm trying to get the chicken pox vaccines for my two DS (5, 3), but all the GP practices I've tried locally don't offer it, and the Nuffield in Exeter doesn't do childhood vaccinations. Neither have had chicken pox and I want to get it done quickly before they get it!
Have any of you had the vaccinations in Devon, and if so, where? (We are in Winkleigh so can go to North or South Devon). Thank you!

Pumpeedo Tue 16-Jun-15 10:37:34

Why do you want to vaccinate against an illness that is almost never serious and one which they may never catch? Vaccination would then mean they were susceptible to shingles which is potentially far more serious and painful.

PosterEh Tue 16-Jun-15 10:40:00

Have you spoken to your GP? They might give it for a fee if you order it in from a local pharmacy. That is what friends of mine did.

megane Tue 16-Jun-15 11:34:18

I've asked my GP and they won't do it, even for a fee. (It will definitely have to be done on a private basis as the chicken pox vaccine is currently not available on the NHS.)

Pumpeedo: Although complications are rare, even a small chance of complications is enough to want to vaccinate. If a childhood disease can be prevented, then it stands to reason that it should.

See evidence from the US:
Prior to the introduction of the vaccine in 1995 in the USA (released in 1988 in Japan and Korea), there were around 4,000,000 cases per year in the US, mostly children, with typically 10,500–13,000 hospital admissions (range, 8,000–18,000), and 100–150 deaths each year.[26][10] Though mostly children caught it, the majority of deaths (by as much as 80%) were among adults.

During 2003 and the first half of 2004, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported eight deaths from varicella, six of whom were children or adolescents. These deaths and hospital admissions have substantially declined in the US due to vaccination,[27][28] though the rate of shingles infection has increased as adults are less exposed to infected children (which would otherwise help protect against shingles).[29][30][31] Ten years after the vaccine was recommended in the US, the CDC reported as much as a 90% drop in chicken pox cases, a varicella-related hospital admission decline of 71%[26] and a 97% drop in chicken pox deaths among those under 20.[32]

Also, it is not true to say that the children who are vaccinated are more susceptible to shingles. It makes un-vaccinated children more susceptible to catching shingles as adults:
If a childhood chickenpox vaccination programme was introduced people would not catch chickenpox as children (as the infection would no longer circulate in areas where the majority of children had been vaccinated). This would leave unvaccinated children (there will always be a few who are unable or choose not to have the vaccine) susceptible to contracting chickenpox as adults when they are more likely to develop a more severe infection or a secondary complication, or in pregnancy when there is a risk of the infection harming the baby.

Pumpeedo Tue 16-Jun-15 11:52:42

Megane, there is a reason that varicella vaccine is not readily available to healthy children in the UK. It is of little benefit and actually does not provide full immunity. Your GP's insurance does not extend to this type of vaccination.

If you feel strongly that your child must be vaccinated, the only clinics I know of professionally who offer it are in London. For what it's worth, it is not usually within the gift of a GP to prescribe this type of vaccine to a healthy child. It would normally be instructed by a paediatric oncologist or haematologist.

megane Tue 16-Jun-15 12:19:17


Thank you for your response, but respectfully disagree.

Further, I wasn't looking for a debate on having the vaccine, just assistance in finding a provider.

I have made an informed decision that I feel is in the best interest of my children; other people are entitled to make their own decision about whether the vaccine is right for their child.

charleybarley Tue 16-Jun-15 12:26:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

megane Tue 16-Jun-15 12:48:20

that is fantastic charleybarley. Thank you!

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