What is the vaccine?
The Varicella vaccine protects against the disease of chickenpox.
When is it administered?
One year and five years old.
What is the disease?
Chickenpox is a virus that creates itchy spots all over the body and usually is accompanied by a fever. Once you get the chickenpox, the disease lives permanently in your nervous system and can flare up in the adult years through a disease called shingles. Chickenpox is caught like the common cold and is pretty contagious in little ones.
Is it serious?
Not usually. The disease is fatal in 1 and 65,000 cases. Children with immune issues will have a harder time with chickenpox. A will older kids and adults – 1% of them deal with skin infections, kidney or liver issues, bleeding, achy joints, and neurological problems.
Pregnant moms who catch chickenpox in first trimester run the risk of birth defects. And if a mom’s chickenpox spreads to her newborn baby, it can be fatal.
Is it common?
Not so much anymore thanks to the vaccine that came out in the 1990s. We used to see 3.5 million cases annually and now it’s 50,000. Good news is that chickenpox is treatable with antiviral medication.
Is the vaccine controversial?
Not so much. The vaccine does contain MSG, plus DNA proteins from human cells and some cow fetus serum, but overall it’s pretty safe. And it’s effective. By immunizing your child against chickenpox, you may also help them avoid shingles later in life.
Mama Natural’s take:
I’m on the fence with this one. My gut is to just let the kid get the chicken pox naturally but another part of me wants to protect Griffin from any issues with shingles and cold sores. I had the chicken pox and haven’t suffered too bad.
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