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Why do we not vaccinate against chicken pox?

(134 Posts)
PolkaDotRachel Wed 06-May-09 21:02:08

My SIL has just mentioned that her DD is having some more jabs this week - and one of them is chicken pox.

Why do we not vaccinate against chicken pox in the UK?

Can it be done privately?

Any thoughts?

BonsoirAnna Wed 06-May-09 21:03:39

It can be done privately in the UK.

I had it done for DD here in France because she has the same super fine skin that I have that marks badly if it is scarred.

FearOfThePig Wed 06-May-09 21:04:23

it's not normally that bad, deff not dangerous a nd once they've had it, they're immune anyway. better to get immunity the natural way if poss imo. you can get vaccinated though if you want. ask gp

cat64 Wed 06-May-09 21:05:23

Message withdrawn

Flamesparrow Wed 06-May-09 21:06:14

Cost afaik.

It isn't as dangerous as most other things, and is too expensive to make it worth the vs risk scenario

lisalisa Wed 06-May-09 21:07:18

I really think this is a case of science gone mad. I would be asking the reverse question - why should we vaccinate against chicken pox. In normal, healthy childrne chicken pox is a mild illness charecterised by a week off school and an itchy body,. Nothing to get worked up about or worried about. In my day we didn't even get taken to teh docs for chicken pox and our mums even held pox parties to make sure we all caught it nice and young and got over it quickly.

i have 5 kids all o f whom have had chicken pox. The only one who had any type of reaction is my ds1 who was at that age immune compromised . Even he was not that ill - just higher temp and unwell as opposed to just itchy. The others caught it between respectively about 1 yr and 5 yrs and none were affected ata ll - more irritated that they couldn't go out for first few days than anything else.

Why would you want to introduce another vaccine to an already overloaded child's immune system?

I would only support such a vaccine for children who were immuno compromised.

MrsMcCluskey Wed 06-May-09 21:07:57

It can have complications
DS had it at 7 weeks and was very ill
They vaccinate in Australia
Wish they would here

SallyJayGorce Wed 06-May-09 21:08:32

It is being considered - I read somewhere. I got it twice so the immunity it provides isn't always effective. Once as a child and once as an adult which was MUCH worse. But not life threatening and I have some interesting scars.

IlanaK Wed 06-May-09 21:20:10

I will be looking into vacinating ds3 against it. Ds1 had a mild case and gave it to ds2 who has a severe case which led to scarring that will not disappear from his face until he is an adult (so I have been told by a dermatologist who also told me that is one of the main reasons they vaccinate in the US). I do not want my ds3 going through that so will try to get him vaccinated.

PolkaDotRachel Wed 06-May-09 21:21:50

It's just odd that it is routine in other developed countries but not here - FYI my SIL is in Kenya so was slightly worried that it's going on in the 3rd world and I had missed something!

I know its not life threatening or anything and I guess some people are more pro vaccination in general than others!

PortAndLemon Wed 06-May-09 21:25:12

The risks and costs of the vaccine outweigh the risks and costs of the disease, basically.

Complications of chicken pox in children don't always occur in immuno-compromised children, of course -- the two I know of personally (one death, one admitted to intensive care on life support) were both normal healthy children before catching the pox. But serious complications are rare in children.

I'll get my DCs vaccinated if they don't catch it before they get to their teens, because then it does start getting reliably quite nasty.

Flamesparrow Wed 06-May-09 21:26:14

Ilana - it may be an urban myth, but I heard that it is worse when transferred between siblings, which would account for your DS2 getting it so badly.

PortAndLemon Wed 06-May-09 21:30:04

Yes, someone posted a link to the research on here the other day. The hypothesis is that catching it from extended repeated contact results in a worse case than catching it from casual one-off contact.

PortAndLemon Wed 06-May-09 21:32:32

Link to the abstract

Flamesparrow Wed 06-May-09 21:36:17

*proud of not spouting crap emoticon*

abroadandmisunderstood Wed 06-May-09 21:37:35

I live in Germany and they seem to want to push as many vaccinations as possible. I find it alarming. DS1 goes in for an inocuou appt. He sneezes and the doctor suggests a fly vaccination. I'm serious, they are needle trigger happy! DS1 has had chickenpox over here but the doctor wants DS2 to have the vaccination. Why? It was maybe 3 days tops of cranky kid and I have Calpok plus great homeopathic remedies to hand.

The vaccinations are getting out of hand.

abroadandmisunderstood Wed 06-May-09 21:39:41

1. Inocuous
2. Flu
3. Calpol

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 06-May-09 21:41:33

Message withdrawn

thirtypence Wed 06-May-09 21:44:09

It's very common to be vaccinated in Australia - less so in NZ. Ds seems to be unable to catch it - 6 and no sign.

bosch Wed 06-May-09 21:48:40

<innocuous> (sorry)

listenglisten Wed 06-May-09 21:49:48

When my dd was having chemo and therefore immuno-compromised, her consultant advised against having the vaccination as it was made from multiple blood products and actually they would rather wait and then treat with anti-virals if we new she had been in contact with chicken pox or in fact if she did catch it.

babblington Wed 06-May-09 21:56:20

Apologies for slight hijack - Does anyone know how long the chicken pox vaccine actually lasts for? I had my two dd's vaccinated but was then told the vaccine only lasts 10 years and I'll need to get them re-done every so often. I'm guessing in the US etc they have herd immunity, but here ...??

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 06-May-09 22:04:31

Message withdrawn

seeker Wed 06-May-09 22:12:16

Because it is in general a mild illness and they need to build up natural immunities. Vaccinations of any sort are not without risk - why add a non essential one?

This is what I've heard somewhere, but not sure whether it's true:

You might know that once you have had chickenpox, you can get shingles which can flare up randomly any time after (but especially if you are run down).

Apparently, once you have had chickenpox, if you are re-exposed to it (by other people who have it), this is thought to increase your resistance to shingles. So for everyone who has had chickenpox already, being exposed to other people who have it is a good thing as it keeps down the shingles risk.

So apparently - although a vaccine would reduce the occurrence of both chickenpox AND shingles in the long term (in people who never get the chickenpox due to the vaccine), in the short term it was feared that it would lead to an increase in adults getting shingles (which can be very unpleasant and nasty, and lead to lots of time off work etc) because the adults who've already had the pox would stop getting re-exposed to it as the infection rates dropped after the vaccine.

Just what I heard somewhere! So feel free to correct if I'm wrong.

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