Chickenpox or varicella is a highly contagious viral disease that can be prevented with vaccination. The side effects of this vaccine are usually mild and subside within a few days. You can find out more about this vaccine and its side effects by going through this Buzzle article.
Chickenpox or varicella is generally a mild, but highly contagious disease caused by the varicella zoster virus. The disease can easily spread from an infected person to another through air, or direct contact with an infected person. An infected pregnant woman can also pass the virus to her unborn child. This viral infection causes mild fever, and skin rash or blisters, especially on the face and the head.
The disease primarily affects children and the young adults. In certain instances, the disease can lead to pneumonia and skin infections. Chickenpox can become more severe in adults. In the past, the majority of the death cases due to chickenpox were reported in adults. However, with the development and the introduction of the chickenpox vaccine, the incidence of the disease, as well as the number of deaths caused by it have declined considerably.
More about Chickenpox Vaccine?
The chickenpox vaccine, also known as varicella vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine. This means that it is prepared with live, but altered virus. The varicella virus is weakened or made less virulent in the laboratory, so that it cannot cause a serious outbreak of the disease, but can produce immunity against the virus. A few examples of such important live vaccines are, polio vaccine, rubella vaccine, and measles vaccine.
This vaccine was first introduced in Japan and Korea in 1988, and then in the USA in 1995. While majority of the individuals receiving the varicella vaccine develop immunity against the disease, a small minority can contract the disease even after being vaccinated. However, such individuals usually suffer from a very mild form of the disease that does not lead to any major complications. Generally, children and adolescents are given this vaccine in two doses. In children, the first dose is usually given between 12 to 18 months of age, while the second dose is given between the age of 4 to 6 years.
Chickenpox Vaccine Complications
This vaccine usually does not cause any serious side effects. An individual can experience slight discomfort at the injection site, i.e., the place where the needle has been inserted. Some minor side effects that this vaccine can produce are, soreness or redness in the injection site accompanied by pain and inflammation, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue, and nausea.
These side effects usually resolve on their own within a few days. However, a few individuals can experience mild fever and skin rash occasionally. The skin rash can last up to a month or so, which is again quite rare. In rare cases, this vaccine can cause some serious side effects, like seizures, pneumonia, and low blood count. But the experts are not very sure whether such problems are caused by the vaccine or some other factors.
But still, if a child experiences a severe allergic reaction after getting vaccinated, then be sure to inform a physician as soon as possible. An allergic reaction to this vaccine can manifest in skin rash or hives, breathing difficulty, and dizziness. Some people can develop a fever after receiving the vaccine.
Some people can contract chickenpox even after being vaccinated. But it is usually a mild outbreak that does not cause much discomfort. Another controversy that surrounds this vaccine is that the risk of developing shingles may increase after getting vaccinated. However, there is not enough evidence to prove this connection, though this possibility cannot be ruled out completely. Many experts are of the opinion that the risk of developing this disease is higher after getting infected by the varicella virus, than receiving the varicella vaccine.
Only rarely, the vaccine can produce some serious side effects. Physicians usually recommend the chickenpox vaccine during childhood to prevent its occurrence in the future. This vaccine is generally not recommended for pregnant women, and people who are allergic to gelatin and neomycin, as well as those who had a previous episode of allergic reaction to the varicella vaccine. People taking steroids and receiving cancer treatment, as well as those suffering from HIV/AIDS are usually not considered eligible for receiving the chickenpox vaccine.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.