Importance of vaccination


CHICKENPOX is a common childhood disease. It is usually mild but in rare cases, it can be serious, especially in young infants and adults.

The virus causes rashes, itching, fever, and tiredness.

It can lead to severe skin infection, scars, pneumonia, brain damage or death. A person who has had chickenpox can get a painful rash called shingles many years later.

Most people who go for chickenpox vaccination will not contract the disease. Even if they do, it is usually very mild. They will have fewer spots, are less likely to have a fever, and will recover faster.

Who should get vaccinated?

• Children between 12 and 18 months of age should get one dose of chickenpox vaccine.

• Those above 13 years of age should get two doses between four and eight weeks apart.
Who should not get the vaccine?

• Those with a life-threatening allergic reaction to gelatin and the antibiotic neomycin.

• Those who are moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled. Wait until full recovery before getting the chickenpox vaccine.

• Pregnant women. Women should also NOT get pregnant for one month after getting the chickenpox vaccine.

• Children under 12 months of age.

• People who recently had a transfusion or were given other blood products. Ask the doctor for advice as to when chickenpox vaccine may be administered.

Effects of the vaccine

• Soreness or swelling where the shot was given;

• Fever;

• Seizure will occur in rare cases as a result of fever. These seizures are more likely to occur in a child who has had a seizure before, or whose parents, brothers or sisters have had seizures from fever;

• Mild rash, up to a month after vaccination. It is possible for these people to infect other members of their household but this is extremely rare.

• Pneumonia (very rare);

• Severe brain reactions and low blood count have been reported. However, these happen so rarely that experts cannot tell whether they are caused by the vaccine.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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