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Vaccination against Chicken Pox...

43 replies

SoupDragon · 08/11/2007 11:33

here. Interesting - for a start I didn't know that being around infectious children reduced the likelihood of developing shingles.

I particularly liked the statement "They said that one option for universal vaccination - adding the chickenpox jab to the existing MMR vaccine - might not win public support." Really? What a surprise

OP posts:
stripeymama · 08/11/2007 11:35

Yeah you don't say!

They are making it sound as though chickenpox is more dangerous than measles - 6 deaths in 13 months??

Evenhope · 08/11/2007 11:39

"Any benefits to children from a chickenpox vaccine would have to be offset against any potential increase in adult chickenpox and shingles in the elderly.

The effect on the whole population needs to be considered, not just one age group."

I'd have thought that being the case, vaccinating children against chickenpox was a bad idea.

I'd certainly be against including it in the MMR. The argument against MMR is overloading our childrens bodies with too many viruses at once. One more can only make it worse IMO.

stripeymama · 08/11/2007 11:44

Well if people want it for their DCs then its up to them - but I find that there is a shortage of actual, unbiased information. I mean I've always heard chickenpox being described as a mild disease with occasional complications - in that article its made out to be really dangerous.

FWIW dd has not had any vaccinations and wouldn't have a chickenpox one either, though thats academic really as she had chickenpox last year. With no complications, just a week off nursery and a couple of wiggly itchy nights in my bed.

saggarmakersbottomknocker · 08/11/2007 11:49

I'd be interested to know if any of those deaths were children with pre-existing conditions.Maybe that group could be targeted, like with the flu jab.

I had CP as an adult - it was vile - and if vaccinating in childhood means an increase in adult chickenpox, then that's something to be avoided as it's much more risky.

saggarmakersbottomknocker · 08/11/2007 11:50

6 deaths - considering the numbers who get chickenpox - I wonder what percentage that is?

stripeymama · 08/11/2007 11:52

Well AFAIK it is still uncertain how long it would actually 'protect' for, meaning frequent boosters would be offered. So it could make it more likely in adulthood. I was15 when I had it and it was quite grim, whereas dd (at 3) was just spotty and itchy.

SoupDragon · 08/11/2007 11:54

I think the article implied that the serious cases weren't limited to children with existing conditions... yes "Problems included blood poisoning and pneumonia and did not just affect those with other health problems"

I think the point they're making about the deaths is that no one really thinks it's that dangerous at all.

I'm not sure I'd bother to get BabyDragon vaccinated unless she was vulnerable or hadn't had it by her teens.

I did think that the vaccine used doesn't give as good immunity as a dose of CP would and that the child stood a good chance of developing it from the vaccine anyway.

OP posts:
saggarmakersbottomknocker · 08/11/2007 12:06

I read another article recently about CP vaccination causing an increase in cases of shingles in adults. IIRC it quoted 20 adult deaths in a year from CP.

berolina · 08/11/2007 12:17

I asked our paed about this vaccine for ds1 and she said don't bother unless dh or I hadn't had it as children, as if ds1 brought it home from kindergarten and gave it to us it would be nasty. We have both had it so won't be bothering.

berolina · 08/11/2007 12:19

(why she didn't just suggest we got vaccinated if we hadn't had it, I don't know)

Weegle · 08/11/2007 12:26

From what I had understood from previous reading (please correct me if I'm wrong), is that the CP vaccine isn't for life and requires boosters. There is a danger that as a child becomes an adult take-up of boosters would not be as high as parents vaccinating their kids so the risk to the adult population would be higher, and as we all know CP is adults can be much more severe. It seems to be that in the vast majority of cases (which is what we should look at when discussing an immunisation programme for an entire population) Cp is not dangerous in children and so getting it then seems the best option although pbviously unpleasant at the time and a true tragedy for the tiny percentage of cases where it does turn out to be a serious disease.

RubySlippers · 08/11/2007 12:29

i didn't know CP was thought of as dangerous
DS had it at 11 months - he was really spotty but he was over it pretty quickly
quite pleased in a funny way that he has had it
certainly wouldn't rush out to get him vaccinated against it TBH

GreenGlassGoblin · 08/11/2007 12:37

Weegle, I understood the opposite - that the CP vaccine is for life
"The main benefit of the chickenpox vaccine to individuals is long-lasting immunity to chickenpox. All other common vaccines require a booster dose to maintain immunity. The chickenpox vaccine lasts so long that a booster dose has not yet been recommended, although it probably will be at some time in the future." ( However, I think it would be madness to introduce another vac to the schedule at the moment, and to add it to the MMR, even more crazy. I think the adult CP/shingles issue is significant, and I'd like to knwo more about it.

Weegle · 08/11/2007 12:39

oh ok, I stand corrected! But then why are they suggesting a booster?

I still think it's an unnecessary vaccine for babies.

GreenGlassGoblin · 08/11/2007 12:46

I can't figure out why they are suggesting a booster either. I'm not in favour of the vaccine as routine either, certainly not from what I know at the moment (and I'm very pro-vaccination as a rule). A bit of googling and a brief foray into the science journals seems to indicate that it's an economic argument, enriching the drug companies with a side order of keeping parents in the workplace not at home with sick kids. Agree that it's not generally a serious illness in young children, and there doensn't seem to be a chance of wiping out the wild virus, so a vaccination would surely just push the burden of infection onto the more vulnerable adult population. There is (or should be) a big differnece between licencing the vaccine for use (which is what has just happened in the UK) and deciding to make it part of the immunisation schedule.

OliviaMumsnet · 08/11/2007 13:03

Hi there
Quick hijack - any further thoughts on this, we'd love to hear them before 2pm today if at all possible?

Elffriend · 08/11/2007 13:48

I agree that I think this is quite interesting. I had never really thought about chickpox as being a major problem as long as they caught it early (chickenpox parties etc!).

I thought the idea of vaccinating older people (more risk of complciations etc.) sounded better in terms of risk/benefit analysis. Particularlyl since you have to keep "topping it up" with boosters. Traumatic enough having to give DS the injections we do!

What did annoy me about this issue when reported on the telly this morning was some random woman (apologies if I missed her qualifications - they were listed as "netmums" when I saw her) blithely saying that they should not add it to the MMR because "that was dangerous enough already". Now, I know the MMR is contentious (no, really but it is NOT helpful for someone to come out with that kind of statement and reinforcing opinion without a balancing view being put. People have a right to their own views and it their choice whether to vaccinate their children etc etc. I do respect that. However, some things that are stated as "fact" are, quite simply, not "fact".

For example, in response to Evenhope's post earlier, it is generally accepted that a baby?s immune system has an enormous capacity to fight the thousands of bacteria, viruses and other pathogens that it is bombarded with every day. A study from America shows quite clearly that even babies who are poorly can still produce protective immune responses to vaccines. This study also shows that a baby could, in theory, respond to around 10,000 vaccines at any one time. If, for example, 11 vaccines were given to a baby at one time, this might only use about a thousandth of the immune system.

Fine if you choose to dispute those findings but don't present the opposite as fact. That just blurs myth and fact even further.

Anyway, the woman just annoyed me (not you Evenhope ).

Eliza2 · 08/11/2007 14:28

That would annoy me too, Elffriend. MMR has undoubtedly saved lives but I'm not sure about chicken pox injections. I think I'd need more information about why it is really necessary. The figures quoted don't seem very convincing.

Evenhope · 08/11/2007 17:37

Elffriend, you say it's "generally accepted" that the immune system could cope with thousands of virus at a time. By whom?

I felt like you do until I read gess's many posts on the subject and Richard Halvorsen's book. Now I'm not happy to go with MMR. (Ihave 2 DSs who-while not autistic- are on the spectrum). Link to one thread here or search gess and MMR or Halvorsen

Eliza2 · 08/11/2007 20:42

Dr David Elliman, consultant at Great Ormond Street hospital says this is the case.

MumtoBen · 08/11/2007 20:45

I had chickenpox when I was 31 and nearly died as I went into shock. I then had to spend 3 days in hospital. My GP told me if I had been less fit or much older I would have died. If I had the option of having this vaccine as an adult who had until then not had chickenpox I would have had it.

I was also scared I would get it when pregnant with DS1.

DS1 (who was about 5 months old) also got chicken pox the same time as me. I was ill for about 2 months and couldn't even walk for weeks as I was so weak, which made looking after my son very difficult!

I know 2 other people who had chicken pox as an adult. 1 had pneumonia and the other was in intensive care.

pagwatch · 08/11/2007 20:46

This is quite interesting to me. My son regressed after the MMR and whilst i personally believe the MMR was the primary trigger I always felt he was vulnerable in a way that his brother had not been because he was still recovering ...from chickenpox.


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KerryMum · 08/11/2007 20:46

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Astrophe · 08/11/2007 20:54

My DD has had this vaccine, it is routinely given in Australia. I wasn't particularly frightened about her getting it, but know that in a very small number of cases it can lead to complications and death. So Its nice to know she wont get it - no calamine lotion either!

pagwatch · 09/11/2007 07:25

I am not a scaremonger and i find your comment incredibly trite offensive. Never told anyone to avoid vaccine but my son did regress violently as i have documented on here before.
My interest is in why my son was one of a very small subset of children who seem to regress. Most vaccines are very safe for most children - just unfortunately not mine.
Shame really - I thought discussion about vaccine had grown up a bit.

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