Price: £80 per dose
Dosage: 2 doses required/4 to 8 weeks apart
Exclusions: 0 to 1-year-olds
Varicella-zoster is a highly contagious virus whose primary infection presents as an itchy vesicular rash and high temperature. Although a relatively mild illness in children can be a severe or life-threatening illness in adults, babies and anyone who is immunocompromised.
Although the vaccine is not routinely given in the UK, it is part of the national immunisation schedule of many other countries around the world including Australia, Canada and the United States and has been for the past 20 years, successfully reducing mortality and morbidity from the chickenpox virus in these areas. At the Wells Clinic, we use the brand 'Varivax' which is the most commonly used brand from the 2 approved brands of the vaccine.
Generally regarded as a safe vaccine for adults and children above the age of 12 months. It is a LIVE vaccine so cannot be given to anyone who is immunocompromised without specialist advice.
Allow the child to catch the disease naturally- ‘pox parties’.
Avoid contact with the disease as an adult who has never had the illness especially during pregnancy or if immunocompromised.
If you contract the illness as an adult you would need the vaccination and possibly immunoglobulins to be administered.
Very common (1 in 10)
Fever, injection site redness, pain, sensitivity to touch, swelling
Common (1/10 to 1/100)
Upper respiratory infection
Injection site rash/itchy at the site
Uncommon (1/100 to 1/1000)
Headache, drowsiness, conjunctivitis, cough, loss of appetite, flu, upset stomach, ear infection, sleep problems, weakness/fatigue, warm to touch
Rare (1/1000 to more than 1/10,000)
Severe allergic reaction. Swollen glands, emotional problems, eyelid swelling, facial pain, chest infection, mouth ulcers, muscle aching, bone aching, bleeding/leakage from blood vessels, illness affecting the nervous system (brain/spinal cord), weakness of facial nerve/muscle, HSP (purple rash and kidney problems), aplastic anaemia.
* Avoid close contact with susceptible high-risk individuals for up to 6 weeks following the vaccination (eg pregnant women/immunosuppressed people or babies of mothers not immune to chickenpox.
* Ensure you do not receive any immunoglobulin including Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin (VZIG) for 1 month after the vaccine unless a doctor advises it is necessary.
* Avoid products containing aspirin or 6 weeks after the vaccination– may cause Reyes syndrome.
* You should not become pregnant within one month of having the vaccine.
* Inform your, doctor, if you:
- Develop bruising or bleeding more than normal with purple spots under the skin
- Develop any severe skin rashes
- Develop any muscle weakness, abnormal sensations or tingling in arms or body
- Develop vomiting & headache & stiff neck & sensitivity to the light
(meningitis)- call 999.
- Develop seizures
Lifelong immunity has not yet been proven as there are currently no studies carried out over a long enough period of time, therefore a booster dose in adulthood is recommended.
See the following website for further information on chickenpox.
The vaccine is given in 2 doses 4-8 weeks apart.
The vaccine should ideally be given on the same day as the MMR vaccine or 4 weeks before or after this vaccine.
For more information see:
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