chicken pox vaccine - effective?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Wee difficult child's doctor is grilling me on why we haven't given wee difficult child the chicken pox vaccine.

    I need her to sign a release for school for him not to have it, and she's balking.

    I have heard that its not that effective (maybe 50% longterm), and I'd prefer, if he's going to get chicken pox, to get it younger, rather than older, when it becomes a more serious illness. Maybe I'm being old fashioned...

    What has anyone else heard on the effectiveness of it?

    (Just FYI - other reasons I opted not to give it to him - I was severely allergic to several of my immunizations, and I have opted to only give wee difficult child the bare bones on immunizations - he seems to have allergies, also)
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Here's a link to CDC info on the chicken pox vaccine:

    It says that the vaccine is 80 to 90 percent effective and prevents serious illness if a vaccinated person comes down with the illness. My kids have had both the original vaccine as well as a booster, which increases the effectiveness of the vaccine.

    Do you know what specifically you are allergic to in vaccinations? That might be a more systematic way to determine what vaccines to give to difficult child.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    WHile it is still possible to get chicken pox after a vaccination, it is not as common as it was when it first came out. With a booster, it is very effective. There are some real risks with having chicken pox.

    For us, my children HAD to have the vaccine. Some things about how my body were working lead MY doctor to test for antibodies to chicken pox (and many other things). I have no resistance, and have had them twice. The second time I very nearly ended up in the hospital.

    I would also talk to the doctor (or an allergist) about your reactions to the vaccines, husband's reactions, and what has changed in the years between with the vaccines.

    Here we MUST vaccinate for this. The state says it will no longer accept waivers on the chicken pox vaccine. Not sure it is true, not an issue for my kids.

    I do think that it will be important to get the booster though.

  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Chicken pox is a miserable thing to go through. We didn't have a vaccine for our kids, but I would gladly have given it to them. 80% - 90% effectiveness is very good. The other ten percent get a much milder case of chicken pox.

    Even 50% protection is better than none. If you could give 80% protection against the common cold to your child, would you? I certainly would. I hope you will listen to your doctor, and your doctor will listen to his/her common sense.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, all three of my kids had the vaccine. My oldest, apparently, did not develop antibodies. On a whim, I had his titer level checked during routine labs for his Crohn's disease, and that's how we found out. Now it's a huge issue if he gets it because he's on immune suppressing medications to keep his Crohn's disease in remission. He cannot have the vaccine as long as he's on these medications because it uses a live virus.

    I purposely held off giving him the vaccine when he was younger, hoping that he would just catch it and get it over with. But then I finally had it given to him when he was in 1st or 2nd grade. Who knew it wouldn't work for him? I now wish it had.
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'll go for 80-90% now, but not for 50%. I know that sounds mean, but I recall having chicken pox, and it wasn't fun, but it wasn't terrible. However, the vaccines did darn near kill me (even when they broke them down into eighths). Thus far, we've been ok with difficult child's vaccines, but we've been VERY careful. He is VERY sesitive to medications. We're down to 1/8 tab of the tenex he was just prescribed and its still nearly knocking him out.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You have to follow your instincts. Many of us do not realize how deadly serious chicken pox can be. I hope that whatever decision you make works out well. I totally support you in whatever you feel/decide is right.

    I know that not having the antibodies is a terrifying way to live. I have a really bad immune system, and am also on medications that suppress it. I have NO antibodies to chicken pox.

    My kids HAD to have the virus and be cared for by husband for a few days after. Just very very dangerous for me to be around them- life threatening dangerous. And the older I get the worse it gets. Hoepfully someday they will come out with a dead virus version. THat would be a better option.

    Sending hugs,

  8. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    difficult child is now 13 and has not gotten the chicken pox. He had the vacine when he was 3 I believe. This past year they told me he needed a booster and although it is not required for school at this time it will be in the future. difficult child has been sick with flu, sinus infections for a while. We have not gotten the booster yet but we plan to. difficult child wants it also.

    Pediatrician has told us over an over about how many children end up in the hospital and suffer side effects from Chicken Pox. I did do research, and it seems to be more and more severe.

    easy child HAD chicken pox. But easy child was just that...easy child. Nothing bothered him.

    difficult child - the smallest thing ends up being a huge affair. He was in the HOSPITAL for an entire week when he had mono. (he was only 4) But any side affect, illness, WILL happen to difficult child.

    I know every child is different, and if your child has allergies I would be very concerned as you are. For me, I truely believe in immunizations. That is what is best for my child.
  9. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    And just to add to the previous post, easy child had Chicken Pox very bad. His entire body was covered. He wasn't too sick, just the rash which was all over, even on his tongue (he sucked his thumb).

    Yet at age 23 he came down with an awful case of shingles. Doctors tried saying it was because he must of had a mild case of Chicken Pox. Not so. Every scab had a scab!!
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    We put off giving the vaccine to our difficult child because we've had several friends who came down with-the chicken pox after they were vaccinated. It only lasts about 3 yrs and you continually need booster shots. Of course, the older you are, the worse the pox are, so you want to get the real thing as a kid. Then you're pretty much immune for life, with-the exception of shingles.
    difficult child will get the shot this summer b4 he goes to camp. (He's 11-1/2 and chicken pox is not fun for teens.) I kept hoping to expose him when he was younger, but it's so rare nowdays, it's just too difficult.
  11. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT got the chicken pox vaccine at about three months, very young, but at that time the county we were living in was having a measles/chicken pox outbreak that was very serious, and since she was in day care, her pediatrician recommended she be vaccinated. She hasn't come down with either one.
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Wasn't it you that had the sensitivity to the dentist's epi? If so - ask the doctor what the preservative is in the chicken pox vaccine. Maybe again it's the preservative that you are and difficult child could be allergic to.

    Dude had chicken pox so severely he even had them IN his eyes. (it is rare but happens) and he had the vaccine and booster too.

  13. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    difficult child had the vaccine, and he had chicken pox (got them from me) but he had a mild case. easy child had the vaccine too, and she never got them even though she was exposed thru me and difficult child. I got chicken pox from a pt's wife who had shingles, as I had never had the chicken pox. I like the chicken pox vaccine, not so much because the chicken pox are severe, but because I have seen so many severe cases of shingles. If you never have chicken pox, can't get shingles.
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Yeah, Star, that was me. Can they test for that?

    I am thinking more about getting the vaccine, its much more effective than it was even just a few years ago, but it still worries me some.

    My chicken pox were mild, but I had shingles something awful 10 years ago or so.