Chicken Pox Vaccine Reactions and Other Essential Information

Chicken Pox Vaccine Reactions and Other Essential Information
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Chicken pox is an illness common during childhood. It is a contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. This illness typically isn’t serious in children who are relatively healthy, but those who have immune system problems or are pregnant could experience complications. There is now a vaccine available to help prevent this illness, but anyone considering it should make themselves aware of the possible chicken pox vaccine reactions. This illness is spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or shares drinks or food with others.

What Are the Symptoms of Chicken Pox?

Those who have chicken pox often have a headache, fever, and sore throat. They may also be very fatigued and have a decreased appetite. However, chicken pox is best known for the red, spot-like rash. This rash takes about 48 hours to appear after the first symptoms start, though patients are contagious before the rash appears. It takes about two weeks to start showing symptoms after being exposed to the virus.

After the red spot shows up, it takes approximately two days for it to progress through all of the stages. It will first blister, then burst. It will then dry up and crust over. Every day, new spots will show up for about five to seven days.

What is the Chicken Pox Vaccine and What is its Purpose?

chicken pox vaccine reactions syringe

This vaccine is administered to prevent the chicken pox virus. Children should ideally be 12 to 15 months old when they receive the first dose. The second dose should be administered at about 4 to 6 years old. Those over 13 years of age, who have yet to get this vaccine, should get both doses, four to eight weeks apart.

What are the Possible Chicken Pox Vaccine Reactions?

  • Fever
  • Mild Rash
  • Swelling
  • Pain

In very rare cases, severe reactions have occurred, including:

  • Seizures
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Pneumonia

Who Should Not Get the Chicken Pox Vaccine?

Like all vaccines, there are some people who should avoid it, or delay getting it. Things that may require a delay or complete avoidance of if the chicken pox vaccine include:

  • Pregnant women. Also, those who plan on getting pregnant should wait a minimum of one month to get pregnant after having this vaccine.
  • Those allergic to gelatin or the antibiotic neomycin.
  • Children taking salicylates, or aspirin, should avoid this vaccine because there is a theoretical risk of Reye syndrome.
  • Those who have a weakened immune system due to cancer, HIV/AIDS, organ transplants, or other medical issues.
  • Those taking steroids for any medical issue.

Before getting the chicken pox vaccine, the doctor should be aware of the patient’s full medical history, including medications.

Resources

Medline Plus. (2009). Chicken Pox Vaccine. Retrieved on June 23, 2010 from Medline Plus: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007065.htm

WebMD. (2008). Chicken Pox. Retrieved on June 23, 2010 from WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/chickenpox-varicella-topic-overview

Image Credits

Syringe and Vile: zeathiel – sxc.hu

Chicken Pox: Jonnymccullagh