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Is The Chicken Pox Vaccine Really Necessary?

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The onset of summer is ideal for the deadly chicken pox to rear its ugly head. You may have realised that chicken pox vaccine is given routinely these days. If you were born somewhere in the 80s or before, you remember a time when having chicken pox once in your life was considered normal, and even necessary. The elderly people felt that getting chicken pox boosts your immunity.

So why is the chicken pox vaccine considered necessary now? Is it just because the vaccine is available to us or does it really have some relevance? Many schools do not admit kids who have not received the chicken pox vaccine because it is a contagious disease. To reach any conclusion, you need to understand the chicken pox vaccine a little better.

What is there in the Chicken Pox vaccine?

Chicken pox is caused by the varicella virus and thus, the immunisation is called the varicella vaccine. This varicella virus in the vaccine is alive but weakened. The injected virus is not strong enough to infect you and bring on the disease. However, it is strong enough to stimulate your body's immunity.

Is the Chicken Pox vaccine necessary?

Usually, chicken pox is considered a mild disease that does not have any life-threatening effects. However, some cases of chicken pox can be really nasty. In fact, about a few hundred deaths due to chicken pox are reported every year. The bad cases of pox occur when it is coupled with other infections or pneumonia.

Chicken pox is rarely fatal in kids. However, infants are at risk of dying from this infection. Adult chicken pox is also a viral disease that is difficult to control. Most parents get their kids chicken pox vaccines to keep them safe before their examinations. Now you might think that is shallow but in the end, why not use technology when it is available.

The chicken pox vaccine for adults makes sense because it saves your leaves. If you get chicken pox, you have to be out of office for three weeks. Many organisations cannot afford to give that much leave to their employees. So it is better to get a shot, and stay safe. Besides, women who are planning to get pregnant and have not got chicken pox yet, need to be vaccinated because this viral infection harms the foetus.

There are no major side effects of the chicken pox vaccine. The only problem is that it is a live virus vaccine. So if you have a smaller infant in the house, he or she could pick up a weaker strain of the infection. A person who is HIV positive or has a immunodeficiency disorder might not respond very well to live virus vaccines like the varicella vaccine. Now these situations are rare and mostly, the chicken pox vaccine for kids and adults is quite convenient if not necessary.

Read more about: chicken pox vaccine disease
Story first published: Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 3:00 [IST]
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