Chickenpox (Varicella) Vaccine
Our Highcliffe Clinic offers a private service for chickenpox vaccination for patients who are not registered at Highcliffe Medical Centre. If you are registered at Highcliffe Medical Centre please call the surgery to arrange the vaccination by one of Practice Nurse Team.
The chickenpox vaccine is not part of the NHS childhood vaccination schedule in the UK, though it is in other countries such as the US.
Our experience Nursing team or Doctors will adminster the vaccine. If you have any questions please do email or phone us for advice.
What is chickenpox?
• Chickenpox is a highly contagious infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus.
• It typically causes a fever, and a rash consisting of itchy, inflamed pimples that soon turn into blisters that crust over to form scabs. It is not unknown for people to have up to 500 blisters or more over their entire body.
• In the UK, it most often affects children.
• It can be itchy and uncomfortable, leave scars, and sometimes cause severe disease. Adults may suffer more serious symptoms, including pneumonia. In people with reduced immunity, chickenpox can be fatal.
• In countries where chickenpox vaccine is given routinely, protecting vulnerable populations with reduced immunity is considered to be a major reason for using the vaccine widely.
• Chickenpox is spread by inhaling droplets coughed up by people infected with the virus, or by physical contact.
• People with chickenpox become contagious about 2 days before the appearance of the rash, which can make it difficult to avoid becoming infected.
What does the chickenpox vaccine do?
Chickenpox vaccine contains live, weakened virus that stimulates immunity to varicella-zoster virus and protects against chickenpox.
Who should be vaccinated against chickenpox
The chickenpox vaccination can be given both to children and to adults. Chickenpox is more serious in adults.
If you have recently been exposed to a person with chickenpox, and have not had chickenpox in the past, there may be some benefit to being vaccinated. Early vaccination may prevent the disease appearing or may make it less serious. The vaccine will alsoÂ protect you from future exposure to chickenpox.
We can perform a blood test to check your immunity (results available within 24 hours) many individuals who are concerned about possible exposure turn out to be already immune.
Who should not receive the chickenpox vaccine
Chickenpox vaccines contain a live virus, and therefore should not be given to individuals who have reduced immunity (e.g. as a result of HIV, or cancer chemotherapy) or during pregnancy. If other live vaccines are also needed, they should be administered on the same day or with a gap of at least one-month between them for optimal efficacy. We will be happy to advise you in more detail when you attend.
Possible side effects of the chickenpox vaccine
The most common side effect of chickenpox vaccine is soreness around the injection site. A mild rash may also develop in 10% of vaccinated children.
How is the chickenpox vaccine given?
The chickenpox vaccine (varicella vaccine) can be administered from the age of nine months onwards.
Two doses of vaccine are necessary, normally with a 4-week gap between the doses.
For further details and appointments call us today on 01425 540214, or book online or email us [email protected]
For more information about Chickenpox Vaccinations please click here