Chicken Pox (Varicella)

When is varicella vaccine given in the US? CDC recommends it twice: 12-15months, & 4-6years.

What is Chicken Pox? “The classic symptom of chickenpox is a rash that turns into itchy, fluid-filled blisters that eventually turn into scabs. The rash may first show up on the chest, back, and face, and then spread over the entire body, including inside the mouth, eyelids, or genital area. It usually takes about one week for all of the blisters to become scabs. Other typical symptoms┬áthat may begin to appear 1-2 days before rash include:fever, tiredness, loss of appetite & headache.” (cdc/chickenox)

How many people get varicella each year in the US? This was the best graph I could find of cases per year. So it appears a decent amount of people still get chicken pox each year in the US maybe 12,500 or so in 2013 it is a little hard to tell, but that could be an estimate.

This graph is the number of death each year in the US. It isn’t that many deaths a year in the US from the chickenpox.

The last year 2012 had just a few deaths (we will estimate 3 deaths although it is a little hard to be precise with this graph, but this is approximate.) . 2012 there were 313,900,000 million people and let’s say 3 deaths from the chicken pox. Your chances of death would have been about 1 in 104,633,333 million in 2012. In 2009 if there were 22 deaths your chances of death still would have been low about 1 in 13,945,455.

Ok time to take a look at the Varicella Vaccine Insert:

Can getting the chickenpox vaccine, (because it is live) spread chickenpox? Yes, “Post-marketing experience suggests that transmission of varicella vaccine virus resulting in varicella infection including disseminated disease may occur between vaccine recipients (who develop or do not develop a varicella-like rash) and contacts susceptible to varicella including healthy as well as high-risk individuals. Due to the concern for transmission of vaccine virus, vaccine recipients should attempt to avoid whenever possible close association with susceptible high-risk individuals for up to six weeks following vaccination with VARIVAX.” (Varicellainsert).

Good to know that if your child is vaccinated for this, they can spread it to others who are healthy or high risk for us to 6 WEEKS.

Here it looks like 3.4% to 3.8% of children who got the vaccine, got a varicella like rash either at the injection site or generalized. In adolescents and adults given this vaccine the percentage for varicella like rash is from 3.1% to 5.5% (Varicellainsert)

<1 in 1000 kids will get febrile seizures from this vaccine, “Febrile seizures have occurred at a rate of <0.1% in children vaccinated with VARIVAX.(Varicellainsert)

Post Marketing Experience: “Cases of encephalitis or meningitis caused by vaccine strain varicella virus have been reported in immunocompetent individuals previously vaccinated with VARIVAX months to years after vaccination…. The vaccine virus (Oka/Merck strain) contained in VARIVAX may establish latency of varicella zoster virus in immunocompetent individuals, with the potential for later development of herpes zoster.” (Varicellainsert)

Lastly, what is in this vaccine? (MRC-5 Human diploid cells are cells taken from an aborted fetus)

I hope this gives you some more information and allows you to be more informed about the varicella vaccine.

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