Chicken Pox Vaccination

Chicken Pox Vaccination is available at HealthHub. As far as we know, it is not available via the NHS, except in rare cases. Chicken Pox is caused by Varicella Zoster, which is a virus, and can also causes Shingles. Chicken Pox can vary in its severity – from just a few spots to chicken pox septic arthritis and meningitis. Some say it is more a quality of life decision to go for vaccination – the disease process is 2 weeks, plus a week to 10 days incubation. If you have 2 children that could mean a month off nursery, or more. It is a tiny injection under the skin, 2 are needed, 6 to 8 weeks apart. If Chicken Pox is going around in the child’s class or nursery, the vaccination can still work if given 4 days or less after exposure. Even if the child develops chicken pox, it should be a very mild attack, as antibodies will form more quickly to the vaccination than the developing disease within the body. Chicken Pox Vaccine is a live vaccine – but attenuated, which means it is a very weak and non aggressive variant – but displays the same antigens. For this reason though, it shouldn’t be given in those who are immunosuppressed (e.g. on high dose oral steroids). Chicken Pox Vaccination is licensed to be given from 12 months of age.
Does it work? Yes, at least in the short term. The first vaccination gives 95% immunity, the second pretty much 100% with duration thought to last well into the teens. It may wear out, just like natural immunity developed when we actually have the Chicken Pox disease wears out – which is why we usually develop Shingles when older. Shingles is also caused by the Varicella Zoster virus, caught when the patient had Chicken Pox, and which has lain dormant in the dorsal root ganglia of spinal nerves ever since, suppressed by high levels of anti Varicella Zoster antibody, caused by catching the disease (or vaccination). Either way, we don’t all get Shingles, or further attacks of Chicken Pox, because our own immunity is boosted periodically by our own exposure to the Varicella Zoster virus throughout life – we are getting natural boosters from those carrying the virus, perhaps with Chicken Pox, or about to develop it, or from virus just generally around in the community. If you are worried about your possibly fading immunity, then a blood test can be performed to look for anti Varicella Zoster antibodies – to see if you are still properly immune. This test can also be performed at HealthHub.

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Mike Dilkes MS FRCS(ORL-HNS), FRCSEd, FRCS

Mike Dilkes Health Hub @ Herne Hill is South London's private medical center. HealthHub has the resources required to run a full clinic service for the majority of medical specialities. From blood tests and prescriptions, to sports injuries and sports medicine.

Patients can book consultations, testing, procedures and surgery, including - Allergies, ENT, Male Health, Botox, Endoscopy, Laser Hair Removal, Minor Injury, Minor Operations, Vaccinations, Travel Vaccinations, Diet, Nutritional Therapy, Snoring and Sleep Apnea Monitoring, Emergency Care and other medical treatments.

Over 10 expert physicians are ready to meet with you, discuss your concerns, and provide the tests and treatments you need -- including: Medically qualified doctors and consultants in Ear Nose and Throat, Head and Neck, and Neurology; Clinical Psychology; Psychotherapy and Counseling; Sexual Psychology and Counseling; Integrative Counselling; Acupuncture; Clinical Sport and Remedial Massage Therapy; and Nutritionist.

Flexible appointments, so you'll quickly see a specialist, with minimal wait in the office.