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Old 01-03-2013, 07:03 PM   #1
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Varicella vax opinions

I Decided when we got DS MMR (at 18 months) to postpone the varicella portion, mainly because I was only barely comfortable with the side effects of MMR by itself (but thought they were worth the risk) and didn't want to compound the risk. I got a note from daycare today that he needs varicella or I need to file a personal exemption. So I'm wondering a few things:

Anyone know how long this vaccine has been in use? Point me to the rate of reactions (both minor and severe)? How do these compare with the risk of secondary infection with chicken pox for a three year old? I haven't yet read the CDC brochure on the vaccine yet, but I will eventually.

Fwiw, I'm generally pro vax (we just follow a spaced shot schedule to reduce the number per visit) and will probably get this for DS soon, rather than file the exemption. I am just a little concerned since it's a 'newer' vax than the rest.

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Old 01-03-2013, 07:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrosehughes
I Decided when we got DS MMR (at 18 months) to postpone the varicella portion, mainly because I was only barely comfortable with the side effects of MMR by itself (but thought they were worth the risk) and didn't want to compound the risk. I got a note from daycare today that he needs varicella or I need to file a personal exemption. So I'm wondering a few things:

Anyone know how long this vaccine has been in use? Point me to the rate of reactions (both minor and severe)? How do these compare with the risk of secondary infection with chicken pox for a three year old? I haven't yet read the CDC brochure on the vaccine yet, but I will eventually.

Fwiw, I'm generally pro vax (we just follow a spaced shot schedule to reduce the number per visit) and will probably get this for DS soon, rather than file the exemption. I am just a little concerned since it's a 'newer' vax than the rest.
Hmmm not sure what the laws are where you are.
Here it is not one required and no exemption is needed.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:40 PM   #3
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Re: Varicella vax opinions

I can't answer all your questions but I know my co-worker had her daughter vaxed as a baby and her daughter is now 10 so it's not "that" new. Her daughter actually got chicken pox from the vax, it is a live vaccine which I believe some people are more cautious about. Also they have found kids do need boosters, I believe they have even added a booster in the early pre-teens. It's a vax I'm delaying as I dont' feel it is totally necessary but since kids aren't really getting cp these days cos they're all vaxed, if my daughter doesn't catch it on her own by 7 or 8 I'll get her the vax.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:51 PM   #4
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Hmmm not sure what the laws are where you are.
Here it is not one required and no exemption is needed.
It states clearly in the notice I got that I just need to file a personal exemption (basically a signed letter from myself or DH saying we don't want the vax). I'm just trying to decide between doing that and getting DS the vax.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:02 PM   #5
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Re: Varicella vax opinions

Varicella was the only vaccine that I declined for my oldest. Personally I think it's a silly one to get. Chicken pox are pretty mild, and childhood is the best time to get them, they become dangerous for most people once they hit puberty, not before. If DD has not gotten the pox by the time she hits puberty, I'll get her titers drawn and go from there, but I see no reason to give it to her now.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
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Re: Varicella vax opinions

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Varicella was the only vaccine that I declined for my oldest. Personally I think it's a silly one to get. Chicken pox are pretty mild, and childhood is the best time to get them, they become dangerous for most people once they hit puberty, not before. If DD has not gotten the pox by the time she hits puberty, I'll get her titers drawn and go from there, but I see no reason to give it to her now.
This is a safer option - getting the vax may prevent your LO from getting the pox now, but the vaccine has a low effective rate and getting the pox later is a real risk, with serious consequences. If my kids hadn't gotten the pox, I would have done titers when they hit age 10 or 11, and if not immune, I would do the shot then. Varicella is a childhood illness which we are designed to get in childhood, and it provides lifelong immunity, whereas the vaccine does not give good immunity.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:25 PM   #7
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Re: Varicella vax opinions

I had it reluctantly done for my older 4 kids. I really didn't want to, and I did delay it. I found out later, they will need (and already had) boosters for them! I'm torn because for some people, chicken pox is no big deal. For me however, I had them so bad as a child, that they were in my mouth, my ears, on the bottoms of my feet, on my labia, and everywhere! I have scars on my face from them, and will have scars forever.

BUT, I had my 3rd child get the vaccine, and she ended up with chicken pox a couple weeks later anyway! She had like 150-200 spots on her, and the dr denied it. But even his nurses said it was chicken pox! Go figure.

I'm pregnant now, and I am so torn weather or not to let it get the vaccine. I mean, most people don't have it as bad as I did, but some have it worse. I think I will delay the vaccine (as well as all of them) until I am able to find the best research possible to support all of my decision making for each vaccine.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:29 PM   #8
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I will delay and check titers if dd hasn't gotten it by puberty and consider it then, same as mmr.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:47 PM   #9
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Re: Varicella vax opinions

I caught chicken pox when I was 3. It caused my fever to go so high I had severe hallucinations, rash all over my body where you could not see any real skin, inability to eat or drink because they were in my mouth and down my throat. I also ended up with secondary infections and what should have been a mild childhood disease placed me in the hospital fighting for my life for over a month. Now did I vax my kids? Absolutely, but on a much later schedule than recommended. Did it help anything? One caught chicken pox 7 days after vax. The other caught chicken pox 5 years later. On the plus side, neither got them as bad as I did. Assuming because they had the vax so had some antibodies to help fight off the infection.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:57 PM   #10
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Re: Varicella vax opinions

The vax has been around for a while. My sister was part of a study. All it entailed was my parents getting a call every year asking if she had come down the chicken pox

My 21 year old brother got the shot and ended up with a mild case of Chicken Pox from it but only on one side of his body. It was really odd and lasted longer than a normal case. I think he kept getting new spots for 3 weeks!
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