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thread: Pros and cons of the chickenpox vac?

  1. #19
    Registered User

    Oct 2007
    Caroline Springs
    2,341

    My kids haven't had any vaccines so far, but the chickenpox vaccine is one I definitely don't intend to give at this point in time. This particular vaccine doesn't induce "life-long" immunity like contracting the chickenpox vaccine "usually" does ( it's not always 100%, but much more effective than the vaccine). The immunity can wear off about the same time children go through puberty, and contracting chickenpox after around 10-13 years of age in boys can actually cause sterility. If my kids haven't had chickenpox before around age 10, then I will probably get them vaccinated for it then. I'm not anti-vaccination, just picky-and-choosy about what I want to give and when.


  2. #20
    Registered User

    Jan 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    1,002

    I don't remember much of my childhood but I do have vivid memories of having chicken pox and how awful it was and how my poor mum had 4 kids with it at once and we were all quite sick. I still have physical scars too. It was something I wanted dd to be able to avoid.
    I suspect she may have had a mild case of it but am not sure.
    Last edited by anney; April 12th, 2012 at 08:19 PM.

  3. #21
    ♥ BellyBelly's Creator ♥
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    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia
    8,982

    Im not a chicken pox vax fan either. The kids in my sons kinder all went down around the same time and were all vax'd.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
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  4. #22
    Registered User
    Add *TripleJ* on Facebook

    Jan 2009
    Diggers Rest VIC
    2,945

    i have scars from when i had it but i as 2 so i dont remember

  5. #23
    Registered User

    Aug 2006
    On the other side of this screen!!!
    11,129

    I remember having a very full-on case of chickenpox when I was 4, I remember how sick and itchy I was and I still have the scars to prove it. While it's a mild illness for some people, others can get very sick.

    My eldest DD was vax'd just after the vax first came out. There have been a couple of times when she has had a smattering of pox-like pustules, but no illness to speak of. One time was probably bacterial but one time was after an outbreak of CP at the school so who knows? Because she's been exposed to live chickenpox virus on several occasions since vax her immune response will have been strengthened and will probably continue to be as long as there's still CP kicking around in the population.

    FWIW the effect of the vaccine on shingles rates has not yet been fully determined. Shingles is most common in ppl over the age of 60 and being vax'd or non-vax'd as a child probably has less bearing on susceptibility to shingles than frequency of subsequent exposure to wild CP throughout adult life to maintain immunity. Because there's still quite a bit of CP around in Australia that immunity (whether from vax or from the illness) is more likely to persist. So in terms of shingles risk, it has less to do with whether your child is vax'd and more with whether everyone else is vax'd LOL.

    Modelling the outcomes of the introduction of a universal childhood vaccination schedule for varicella has predicted a rise in the incidence of HZ (SHINGLES), based on the assumption that exposure to wild-type VZV(CHICKENPOX) circulating in the community boosts immunity.28 However, to date, multiple studies and surveillance data do not demonstrate any consistent changes in overall HZ incidence in the United States which has a universal varicella vaccination program that commenced in 1995.19,29 The incidence of HZ in children <10 years of age has declined, indicating that HZ rates are lower in varicella vaccine recipients.1,29
    from: Immunisation Handbook
    Last edited by AnyDream; April 12th, 2012 at 10:11 PM.

  6. #24
    Registered User

    Mar 2008
    the world
    540

    They don't even vaccinate against it here in the UK. So not sure if that means it is not considered a necessary vaccination??

  7. #25
    Registered User

    Jul 2008
    summer street
    2,708

    It is true that you can get both CP and shingles but it tends to happen if the case of CP was a mild case. I was reading that there is an increase in cases of shingles in Europe which some dr's are attributing to the CP vaccine.

    I won't be vaccinating DS while he is a child but may consider it if he doesn't contract it naturally (and no I would never participate in a pox party) as CP can affect adults much worse than children
    This ^

    Dd hasn't had it to date, but I will prob give it at her four year old needles. Cp tends to get worse as you get older, so I want her to have some exposure before she grows up, even if it's only through a vaccination. I was secretly hoping she might catch it before then, since the vax is not as effective as the actual virus, which is generally mild in young children and offers much better life long immunity than the vaccine.

  8. #26
    Registered User

    Mar 2008
    the world
    540

    This ^

    Dd hasn't had it to date, but I will prob give it at her four year old needles. Cp tends to get worse as you get older, so I want her to have some exposure before she grows up, even if it's only through a vaccination. I was secretly hoping she might catch it before then, since the vax is not as effective as the actual virus, which is generally mild in young children and offers much better life long immunity than the vaccine.
    Sorry to hijack Loula but I wanted to ask Arcadia about the exposure to Chickenpox.

    Arcadia - I was just wondering if DS's exposure could be considered enough to ensure he doesn't get a severe case when he is older. In short he has been exposed many times but never contracted it. Or at least may have had a very mild case when a newborn. This Spring alone I have had at least 3 mums over the last 6 weeks ring to tell me that they suspect their LO was contagious last time we saw them. DS hugs and kisses all his friends and would definitely have got some good exposure lol! In fact in German, chickenpox is called windpox because it is so contagious it is deemed to be carried 'in the wind' Anyway now into our 6th week of checking for spots and so far nothing??
    I think he may have got a mild case when a newborn but I cannot remember him being sick or having spots but a friend did bring her chickenpox infected child around (without telling me!!!) when DS was only a few weeks old so it is possible.

    Could his amount of exposure be enough to protect him as per your theory?

  9. #27
    Registered User

    Apr 2008
    Melbourne
    6,745

    I was exposed to contagious people many times through childhood and adolescence (my best friend in Yr7 who I sat next to every day, my step-sister got them the day after our parent's wedding and we had been together the whole time, and my best friend at uni who I lived with all got chicken pox and I didn't but was in very close contact during contagious periods) however when i was tested for immunity when I was pregnant with DD1 I didn't have any. i was really surprised as I thought I must have developed a natural immunity seeing that I hadn't caught it any of those times. I ended up getting vaxxed when DD1 did so we went through it together.

  10. #28
    Registered User

    Nov 2008
    Melbourne, VIC
    707

    My DS has been vaxxed and my DD will be too. The vaccine does not stop all children getting a mild case, but I'd much rather my children have a mild case than get really sick - kids do actually die of chicken pox! Shingles is a reactivation of the virus that lives in a nerve root (much like herpes) which is why it is usually localised to a particular dermatome (where that nerve supplies). It's horrible, but doesn't necessarily carry the mortality of chicken pox in a child.

    Those are my reasons. I had cp, along with my two brothers and my cousin, Mum looked after us all. We got lucky and it wasn't severe, but there are still severe cases around and they're horrid.

    DS had it, and no reactions to it.

  11. #29
    Registered User

    Nov 2008
    1,243

    I got DS vaccinated for two main reasons.

    First is that DH hasn't had chicken pox. And when you get them when you are older the cases tend to get a lot more severe. I really didn't want DS contracting them somewhere and bringing them home to DH, or having to send DH away somewhere for a week or two until DS wasn't contagious anymore.

    Second was my own experience with CP. I got them when I was in second grade and tt was one of the most miserable times of my life. And this is saying a lot as I use to get really sick really easy, up until about the age of 20, and have had pneumonia (multiple times) bronchitis (more times then I can remember, use to get it about 4 times a year), strep throat (again use to get it about 4-5 times a year), tonsillitis (about once a year), dengue (that one was less then pleasant, probably only serious illness I've had though after 20), 5ths disease, Pittyrhiosis Rosea (think that's how it's spelled….not super pleasant either) other weird aliments that took the doctors ages and ages to identify because they are so uncommon, basically you name it I've caught it. Anyway, I digress.
    I had a particularly nasty case of CP. I had them everywhere….In my mouth, on the soles of my feet palms of my hands (both of which are peppered with scars, thankfully I got away with no facial scars), all over my vagina (including internally), on my anus. I couldn't move without touching at least 10. And they lasted forever. I easily had the itchy blister stage of it for over two weeks. I pretty much lived in a bathtub of calamine lotion. I also got a really nasty fever with it, at one point I was hospitalised for a while (can't remember how long, maybe 5 days) because my fever was so high, I was hallucinating and everything, mum says I went into a semi coma like state for about half a day just after I got to the hospital. It was really touch and go with me for a few days and the couple of times I've tried to ask mum about it she's teared up and not been able to talk about it apart from her saying she was so scared for me and that they nearly lost me. So basically I am worried that if DS is unlucky enough to have my immune system and catches them I'd be devastated if he got them as badly as I did, and I'd never forgive myself if I could have prevented him the suffering I endured, by getting him vaxxed.

  12. #30
    Registered User

    Aug 2006
    Melbourne
    2,890

    Thanks for all your responses it's given me lots to think about. Now I just have to find out as its a live vac can DS get it while I'm pg and around him?


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