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Chicken pox vaccine?

(39 Posts)
BendingSpoons Sat 17-Dec-16 12:59:56

Is it a good idea to have the chicken pox vaccine (obviously we would have to have it privately)? Anyone done research into it? I was of the opinion that chicken pox isn't that bad and the NHS don't see it as necessary so there is no need but then I thought we might as well, to save DD being unwell and the (albeit small) risk of complications. I read it is 90% effective in children and 75% effective in teenagers/adults. Does that mean you can 'lose' immunity to it, or just that if you have it when older it doesn't work as well? I don't want to vaccinate her as a small child, only for her to catch it as an adult when it could be much worse. Also, do you have to have boosters?

Just to clarify, I am specifically asking about the chicken pox vaccine, DD is having all her others so this isn't intended to be a debate on the general pros/cons of vaccines!

BendingSpoons Sat 17-Dec-16 13:00:38

Oh and if anyone has any scientific reading on it that would be great.

bumbleymummy Sat 17-Dec-16 18:35:31

It's really up to you. I wouldn't get it for mine (unless they still hadn't had CP when they became teenagers or we were trying to protect an immunocompromised sibling). Personally, I preferred my children to have CP when they were young and there was lower risk of complications so they don't need to worry about waning immunity from vaccines/keeping on top of boosters when they're older and more at risk.

The US vaccinate against CP as part of their baby vaccine schedule and they introduced a booster around 2006 iirc. If another booster is introduced for older teens/adults we will probably hear about it in the next few years.

Maryann1975 Sun 18-Dec-16 00:30:41

We have just vaccinated dd against chicken pox for seceral reasons.
We have no back up if she is ill and we can't go to work because she can't go to school.
We would struggle financially to lose my wage for a week or two.
Main reason: fil has terminal cancer and we decided we didn't want the risk of her catching the pox while he was ill as we wouldn't be able to visit.

Our fears would have happened in the past couple of weeks. Most of the nursery children have been off with chicken pox and three dc in dd class have it. If dd had caught it and passed it to her grandad the end could be even closer for him. I will forever be glad we vaccinated her.
I appreciate this is not relevant to you, but for my family it was worth the £130 to get her jabbed.

lovelycats Sun 18-Dec-16 00:33:37

As above said, I'd give it if my child hadn't had chickenpox by they time they reached 10 or 11. An adult I know had it recently and it was horrific, she's scarred terribly too.

mortificado Sun 18-Dec-16 00:36:08

I will for mine. (I'm immune to c.pox as are my dad & grandad) but just in case

Bythebeach Sun 18-Dec-16 00:48:47

I would do it with the benefit of hindsight. DS1 had it aged 2 pretty mild but just before holiday so we had to cancel it. DS3 got it on holiday. He was really ill for a week, temps of 39 which we struggled to get down and got it in his eyelid which swelled so he looked truly monstrous and couldn't open at all and had to be repeatedly checked for abrasion. DS3 gave it to 8 year old DS2 who I had been planning to vaccinate as he was so old. He had it pretty badly too but no eye complication and he had to miss a big family gathering for my mother in law's 70th. All in all CP ruined two holidays and one family event and even though DS3 wasn't seriously ill and in hospital, it was pretty scary with him!! In US, Aus etc they vaccinate!

BendingSpoons Mon 19-Dec-16 21:59:39

Thanks everyone, lots of good points to consider.

PippaFawcett Mon 19-Dec-16 22:05:39

We vaccinated and I am SO glad we did. We did it primarily because we both work FT and have no back up for childcare so if our DC had got it back to back, it would have been a nightmare. I also think children can suffer unnecessarily and I know plenty who have scars on their faces as a result and I just wanted to avoid that if possible. IIRC the main reason we don't vaccinate is cost and although they will need boosters when they are older, I think it is worth doing if you can afford it.

BizzyFizzy Mon 19-Dec-16 22:06:09

My youngest two are vaccinated, which is a huge convenience to us. The first three had it preschool, so we did not have to wait years for it to happen.

PippaFawcett Mon 19-Dec-16 22:07:40

I also had a colleague who wasn't allowed to board her plane home because her DD had contracted it when they were on holiday. Don't ask me why she was trying to fly!

missyB1 Mon 19-Dec-16 22:13:26

We vaccinated ds when he was 2 years old, really glad we did it. Chicken pox can be really nasty.

StripeyMonkey1 Mon 19-Dec-16 22:14:55

I vaccinated my two on the basis that I'd choose a quick jab for myself rather than editable and unpleasant illness, and would imagine my kids would prefer it too.

There are also more risks to your children from chickenpox, than from the jab. Also, worst case scenario and they are part of the 10% who are not effectively protected, when they do get chickenpox it will be milder.

StripeyMonkey1 Mon 19-Dec-16 22:15:25

not editable - inevitable

SofiaAmes Mon 19-Dec-16 22:16:24

My dss was in hospital for a week with chicken pox. My brother had shingles a few years ago and almost lost his eyesight in one eye. The Chicken Pox vaccine would have prevented or made much more mild both those situations. Both of mine have had the vaccine.

BendingSpoons Tue 20-Dec-16 20:34:55

I'm leaning towards getting the vaccine as a lot of you have. I'm just worried that by doing so there is a greater risk of DD not being immune as an adult when things could be much worse. It's particularly on my mind as having been recently pregnant that is obviously a risky time. My understanding (which may well be wrong!) is for most people having chicken pox leads to lifetime immunity but the immunity from the jab 'wears off'? However as several people have said, it seems silly to put DD and us through an illness just to prevent an injection or two. (Luckily for us coat isn't particularly an issue).

BendingSpoons Tue 20-Dec-16 20:40:29

Cost not coat!

Just thought I merrily have a yearly flu jab so having a couple of boosters of needed isn't really a big deal.

PippaFawcett Tue 20-Dec-16 20:47:27

There is a thread in active about a woman's DD who had really bad chickenpox. A look at the photos on there would convince me, if I hadn't done it already.

hazeyjane Tue 20-Dec-16 20:52:26

It is 98% effective, now 2 jabs are recommended. (a warning to those who have it because they can't afford time off work - if your child does get it, yes it will be mild, but you will still have to quarantine your child)
It was rolled out 20 years ago as a national vaccination programme in the US and Japan, where it is maintaining efficacy 20 years later.
It has proved less effective (approx 75% effective) when administered in teenage years (is their is a higher chance of still contracting chicken pox)

BendingSpoons Tue 20-Dec-16 20:57:52

Thanks hazeyjane that's really helpful about the effectiveness and Pippa I will have a look. Definitely sounds like it is worth having and I feel more confident in our decision now so thanks all.

lucy101101 Tue 20-Dec-16 21:03:47

I have had my DD vaccinated as my DS was very ill with it when he was 2. He wasn't hospitalised but was just in so much pain (despite medication etc.) that he screamed literally night and day for two weeks and could only rest in one position lying on me which meant I got a trapped nerve in my neck which caused problems for months afterwards... we also discovered he had it twenty minutes after arriving on our holiday! Luckily we were in the UK in an isolated cottage so wasn't a risk to anyone but it was an utter nightmare!

bumbleymummy Tue 20-Dec-16 22:31:50

Hazeyjane, Japan don't give it to the same extent as the US. The US introduced another booster about 10 years ago.

Yes, the vaccine is less effective in adults so I wouldn't be too happy about having to rely on it at a time when I'd be more at risk if I did catch it. (Esp women when pregnant)

Yes, there can be complications (and I think people should be more aware of these than they currently are) but the vast majority of children will have uncomplicated cases. It's difficult to get a balanced view on places like MN because people are more likely to post about the bad cases rather than the more average normal ones.

My DC were playing away happily after a day of being a bit cranky and out of all my friends and extended family (big!) I only know of a couple of cases where they had a few infected spots that cleared up with antibiotic cream. Anecdotal I know!

Good luck with your decision. thanks

tooclosetocall Tue 20-Dec-16 22:36:17

The vaccine was an option we took.

hazeyjane Tue 20-Dec-16 22:54:59

No Japan is less universal, although they had the first vaccination programme, in 1995, and patients vaccinated then are still showing signs of immunity.

When I say the vaccine is less effective in teens (and adults) - this is if people have never had the vaccine.

The booster in the US was at the realisation that 2 jabs proved more effective in preventing chicken pox than one, and is the reason why you have 2 injections when you get vaccinated.

bumbleymummy Tue 20-Dec-16 23:34:24

Hazey, I think it was the US that introduced it in 1995. It was introduced in Japan in the late 80s.

From the CDC:
"Several studies have shown that people vaccinated against varicella had antibodies for at least 10 to 20 years after vaccination. But, these studies were done before the vaccine was widely used and when infection with wild-type varicella was still very common."

With the booster (2nd dose) only being introduced 10 years ago it's hard to say how long 2-dose protection will last for. As I said in my first post, we will probably hear in the next few years if additional boosters are required.

Do you have links to the papers on the effectiveness of boosters in adulthood compared to effectiveness of having the first vaccines in adulthood? When I last looked into it there were very few adult studies so I'd be interested to read anything new that's come out.

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