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Chickenpox Vaccine

What is Chickenpox?

Chickenpox (also called Varicella Zoster) is a common childhood disease. It is usually mild, but it can be serious, especially in young infants and adults. The chickenpox virus can be spread from person to person through the air, or by contact with fluid from chickenpox blisters. It causes a rash, itching, fever, and tiredness. It can lead to severe skin infection, scars, pneumonia, brain damage, or in severe cases death.

Will my child still get Chickenpox after being vaccinated?

Most people who have the chickenpox vaccine will not get chickenpox. But if someone who has been vaccinated does get chickenpox, it is usually very mild. They will have fewer spots, are less likely to have a fever, and will recover faster.

How does the vaccine work?

The chickenpox (varicella) vaccine provides protection against the varicella zoster virus that causes chickenpox. The chickenpox vaccine contains a small amount of the live weakened varicella zoster virus. The vaccine causes your immune system to produce antibodies that will help protect against chickenpox.

From what age can you vaccinate and how many doses will they need?

Children can be vaccinated from 12 months and it is recommended that they have 2 doses, 6-8 weeks apart.

What is the cost of the Chickenpox Vaccine?

The cost is £90 per dose of vaccine.

Do children who are vaccinated with a single dose develop immunity?

It has been shown that 9 out of 10 children vaccinated with a single dose will develop immunity against chickenpox. A two-dose schedule is now recommended for all, as it gives a better immune response. Three-quarters of teenagers and adults who are vaccinated will develop immunity against chickenpox.

Does the vaccine contain thiomersal (mercury)?

The vaccine does not contain thiomersal.

Do people who have had Chickenpox get shingles in later life?

A person who has had Chickenpox can get a painful rash called shingles years later.

Shingles Vaccine


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The Independent General Practice