Medical Questions » Vaccinations, Children Questions » Question No. 1009
Question:Can you teli me about the new chickenpox vaccine that I have heard is now available. Is it a good idea?
Answer:The chickenpox [Varicella zoster) vaccine was first introduced to Australia in 2000 and is obviously a good idea if you want your child to avoid this infection, but it is not yet a routine vaccination, is not subsidised by the government, and is quite expensive (but not as expensive as missing a few days of work to eventually look after your sick child). It is recommended for children from 9 months to 12 years of age, and only one injection is necessary. Older children and adults require two injections six weeks apart. It is not for use in pregnancy, and must be used with caution in breast feeding. You should not not have the vaccination if you are sensitive to neomycin, have received a blood transfusion recently or are suffering from a high fever. The only common side effect is local soreness at injection site. Unusual side effects include a rash and a vaccinated person may rarely pass the virus on to an unvaccinated person to cause chickenpox.
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