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Chickenpox Vaccine - Dosge recommendations

The standard way to immunise a child aged less than 12 years old against chicken pox has changed. When Chicken Pox Vaccine first became available in 1996, it was routinely used in the USA and became part of the standard American immunisation schedule. At the time of introduction, one dose was considered sufficient to protect children aged less than 12 years old. A two dose schedule has always been used for adults and children over the age of 12.

Finding a better way to protect children with immunisation by changing the dosage schedule happens frequently. The standard dose schedule for polio, tetanus and diphtheria has changed from 4 doses to 5 doses over the years. The dosage of MMR has changed from just one dose at 13 months to include a second dose at aged 3 - 4 years.

With regard to the best way to use Chicken Pox Vaccine in the UK, the two-dose schedule was adopted on 1st April 2010 by the manufacturers and the Health Protection Agency. Hence from now on, all children whose parents want them to be immunised against chicken pox will need two-doses separated by 4 - 8 weeks.

There are two licensed forms of Chicken Pox vaccine in the UK - VARILIX made by GSK and VARIVAX made by Sanofi. Both are now recommended to be used as two- dose courses. Neither contains Thiomersal (Mercury).

Many parents, whose children have been previously vaccinated on what was the standard one-dose schedule, will be wondering if their child is indeed sufficiently protected or will need a booster. The advice from both of the manufacturers, and from the Health Protection Agency, is that there is no evidence to suggest that a late booster is necessary at the moment. The two-dose schedule, that is now in practice, only confirms longer term immunity IF the two doses are given 4-8 weeks apart. As further research is carried out, this situation may change and if a booster is recommended for children who have had only one dose, we will contact parents.

Our Doctors will be available to discuss the situation and your child's needs if the reception staff cannot answer your questions

Appointments for this vaccine are available daily. Please telephone us on
01245 234134 for further details.