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Chicken Pox - Should You be Immunized Against it?

Dr. Rakesh Sharma 89% (10 ratings)
DDF, FCCP, MD , MBBS
General Physician, Delhi  •  29 years experience
Chicken Pox - Should You be Immunized Against it?

Chickenpox or varicella is a type of viral infection that causes itchy rashes accompanied by tiny fluid-filled blisters. It is highly communicable to those who have not experienced this disease earlier or have not been immunized against it through vaccination. 

The vaccine against chickenpox is a shot protecting anyone, who has already contracted the disease. It is known as the varicella vaccine since chicken pox is triggered by the virus called varicella-zoster. The vaccine is prepared from a living but a weakened virus.

Why would you require a chicken pox virus?

  1. The risk behind the condition aggravating into something life threatening is high among adults, infants and people possessing a weak immunity system as they are prone to developing serious complications as well. There is no way you can predict who would be the next prey.
  2. The illness is extremely contagious and can get transmitted either through air while coughing or sneezing or by direct contact especially with the fluid present in the chicken pox blisters. For this reason, you need to stay segregated until and unless all your blisters have dried up or crusted over. The illness may induce itchy rashes all over your body along with fussiness, cough and headaches.
  3. The vaccine is recommended for all adults and adolescents who have not been infected by chicken pox ever earlier. A vaccine called MMRV offers a combined protection against varicella, rubella, mumps and measles.
  4. The vaccine has to be administered in two shots. However the medicines are not devoid of mild side effects,for instance, swelling in the region where you have been injected alongside mild rashes.

Who should not opt for the vaccine?

  1. Pregnant women since the effect of the vaccine on your fetus is yet to be unraveled
  2. People who are allergic to neomycin and gelatin ( a gelatin-free varicella vaccine is actually available)
  3. People suffering from diseases caused due to a weak immunity system or taking high dosage of steroids
  4. Cancer patients who have to be treated with chemotherapy, drugs and X-rays
  5. People who have had a blood transfusion in about five months before receiving the shot. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.
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