The chickenpox vaccine provides protection against the varicella zoster virus that causes chickenpox. The chickenpox vaccine is not part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule. Chickenpox is an acute highly infectious virus. It is spread from person to person. The infection is most common in children below the age of ten. The vaccine causes your immune system to produce antibodies that will help protect against chickenpox.
The vaccine against chickenpox is a live attenuated vaccine. Other live vaccines should be given at the same time or at least a month apart in normal circumstances.
It is recommended for individuals such as certain healthcare workers and people in close contact with someone who has a weakened immune system, who are likely to come into contact with people in “at-risk” groups. This is to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to those at risk. The infection is most common in children below the age of ten, in whom it usually causes mild disease. The disease can be more serious in adults, particularly pregnant women and those who smoke.
Two doses at 0 and 6 weeks, given to children from 1 year of age and adults. Vaccine fully effective 6 weeks after the 2nd dose.
General issues: Patients who have had a serious reaction (”anaphylaxis”) to a previous dose of this vaccine or its constituents. Pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Pregnancy should be avoided for 3 months following the vaccination.
Redness and tenderness at the injection site. Sometimes a rash may develop.