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The Varicella Vaccine

Varicella zoster is a virus: it causes chickenpox. The varicella vaccine – or the chickenpox vaccine, as it is commonly known – is a vaccine that is used against chickenpox.

The chickenpox vaccination is not given as a standard childhood vaccination; however, if you do have concerns, you can ask for this vaccine privately through IPSA Medical.

What Is Chickenpox?

The chickenpox virus rarely leads to complications; chickenpox is usually a mild illness that affects children. As the virus is usually mild, there are rarely any complications.

Chickenpox is usually only caught once. Following this first infection, the body automatically develops an immunity to the virus.

However, the condition can be more serious in adults who contract chickenpox.

Serious complications caused by chickenpox are more likely in people whom:

  • Have an immune system that is weakened by illness (such as HIV)
  • Have an immune system that is weakened due to chemotherapy
  • Are pregnant (for your unborn child, a chickenpox infection may have serious repercussions, resulting in severe disease or birth defects in your new-born baby)

Vaccines against chickenpox are not available as part of the standard vaccination programme with the NHS. However, you or your infant/child can be vaccinated against the chickenpox virus at IPSA Medical.

At IPSA Medical, you will receive an in-depth consultation with one of our doctors. You will be able to complete the full schedule for the vaccination at times that are suitable for you. Following the clinical consultation and your examination, we can then vaccinate you immediately, as early vaccinations are much more effective. You will be booked in for the second vaccine six weeks later.

Call IPSA Medical for the chickenpox vaccine today (and/or for the other vaccinations IPSA Medical offers). Our IPSA Medical doctors usually offer same-day appointments.

How Does the Chickenpox Vaccination Work?

When you receive the vaccine for chickenpox, live varicella zoster virus is used. Only a small amount of the weakened, live virus is introduced into your system, which leads to the production of antibodies by your immune system. These antibodies protect you against chickenpox.

The chickenpox vaccine consists of two separate injections, which need to be given 4–8 weeks apart. The usual site for the injection is the upper arm.

The chickenpox vaccination is very effective. Ninety percent of children who receive the single-dose vaccination develop immunity against the varicella virus that causes chickenpox. The recommended double-dose vaccination provides for an even better immune-response rate.

It is best to have the vaccination during childhood; this is because the vaccine is less effective in adults (approximately 75 percent of vaccinated teenagers/adults develop immunity).

Contact IPSA Medical to book an appointment for a chickenpox vaccination for your child or for yourself.

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