What is it?
Chickenpox is a very contagious infection that causes an itchy, spotty rash with small, fluid-filled blisters.
The chickenpox vaccine protects against the Varicella Zoster Virus that causes chickenpox.
Why should I consider a Varicella Vaccination?
The varicella vaccination helps to prevent disease outbreaks in childcare settings and schools, in turn leading to reduced school time missed, whilst also protecting against Shingles. The vaccines are 80 to 85% effective in preventing varicella disease and 95% effective in preventing severe disease. Severe chickenpox disease can lead to serious complications, whilst rare, these include: bacterial infections of the skin and soft tissue in children, including Group A streptococcal infections. Infection of the lungs (pneumonia), infection or swelling of the brain (encephalitis, cerebellar ataxia), bleeding problems (haemorrhagic complications). Symptoms are usually mild among children, but may be life threatening to healthy infants, children, and adults, and people with impaired immune systems.
Where can I have the Varicella Vaccination?
Currently, the varicella vaccination is not part of the NHS vaccination schedule and is only offered to individuals who are likely to encounter people particularly vulnerable to chickenpox or the complications, such as those having chemotherapy.
However, at The Dr Jenni Clinic we offer the varicella vaccination to children aged 12 months and above.
How is it given?
At The Dr Jenni Clinic, the VARIVAX vaccine is used. This is administered in 2 doses with at least one month between doses for children aged between 12 months and 12 years of age. For children aged 13 years and above, 2 doses are given, with the second dose recommended between 4 to 8 weeks after the first dose.
In younger children, the vaccination is usually administered into the thigh area. In older children the vaccination is administered into the upper arm.