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Chickenpox Vaccination

Cost: £ 70 per injection ( two injections required)

What is chickenpox??

A common illness caused by the varicella-zoster virus and most people catch it during their childhood. If you haven’t had chickenpox as a child you can still get it as an adult. The chickenpox vaccine offers protection for people who have not had chickenpox in the past.

Can you tell  me more about the vaccine?

The vaccine contains a weakened version of the virus that causes chickenpox. It is a “live” vaccines. The vaccine causes your immune system to react to the vaccine. As a result, the individual receiving the vaccine will be immune if they catch the virus at a later date.

The course consists of two doses. The second dose is usually given 4-8 weeks after the first. Once two doses have been given then the individual does not need any boosters.

How it is given?

An injection, usually given in the upper arm.

What age can it be given from?

The chickenpox vaccine is suitable for patients from 9 months of age up to the age of 65. It is only recommended if you have not had chickenpox.

Please note as a private clinic we would only vaccinate from 2 years onwards.

What are symptoms of chickenpox?

Itchy rash and  fever. In most cases, the symptoms clear within a week. The pharmacist can recommend medication to help with the symptoms if you or you know someone that has chickenpox.

I am certain I ( or my child) has already had chicken pox – do I still need the vaccine?

Once you have had chickenpox, you’re usually immune for life but you could develop shingles at a later point in life. However, if it is unclear whether or not your child has had chickenpox, a vaccine can be given as it is unlikely to cause any harm even if they have had chickenpox before.

Can I get it free on the NHS?

Although the vaccine is very effective, the NHS does not offer it as part of the childhood immunisation schedule. It is only available for free to a small group of people who are particular vulnerable or close to those who would have complication from that disease. There is more information available on the NHS website about this.

Some countries such as USA ,Germany, Japan, Australia and Canada offer it as routine as part of the national childcare immunisation programme.

Will it protect against shingles?

It don’t not protect against shingles. In order to prevent shingles, you can get a shingles vaccination.

How safe is vaccine and is there any side effects?

The chickenpox vaccine offers effective protection against chickenpox, is safe and has been given several million times around the world. There are no known long-term side effects.

Redness and soreness in the part of the arm where injection was administered

Mild side effects, such as fever, tiredness or digestion problems are also reported

One in ten people who receive the vaccine will experience a mild rash. This rash is not contagious and it should pass quickly.

The only serious known side effect is an allergic reaction to the vaccine. Allergic reactions to the chickenpox vaccine are extremely rare and believed to affect around one in a million patients who receive the vaccine.

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I think I have or my child has been exposed to someone with chickenpox. If I have the vaccine will it stop the disease?

Chickenpox is transmitted directly by close contact or droplet spread and it can take several days for symptoms to develop. If you believe an individual has been exposed to chickenpox and is not showing any symptoms, they may still have the vaccine. Vaccination within 3 days of exposure may help prevent chickenpox or reduce the severity of disease, resulting in fewer skin lesions and a shorter period of illness. However, there is limited information that being vaccinated up to 5 days after exposure may reduce disease severity.

Other medical details

The pharmacist will provide a brief consultation and ask you a few questions to check whether the vaccine is suitable.

 If the individual suffers from certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications they may not be able to get the vaccination.

You can’t have the chickenpox vaccine if you have previously had an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine.

The virus can be dangerous for patients with an impaired immune system, new-born babies and pregnant women. Therefore the vaccine is not suitable for pregnant women or women who are trying for a baby. After receiving the vaccine, you need to use contraception for at least four weeks. The vaccine is not recommended for breastfeeding women.

Not feeling well prior to vaccination appointment ?

If  ill on the day of your vaccination you may need to reschedule your appointment.

Safe with other jabs?

Can be given safely with other vaccines however the chickenpox vaccine should be administered on the same day as the MMR / Yellow Fever jab, or allow at least a 4 week gap in-between these vaccinations. Please email us for more details.