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Should my child get the chickenpox vaccination?

SystemSystem mod
edited Feb 21, 2020 8:52AM in Article comments

imageShould my child get the chickenpox vaccination?

The chickenpox vaccination isn't currently offered to all children on the NHS but you can pay for your child to have it. But does your child need it? We look at the latest facts, with expert advice from GP Dr Philippa Kaye

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  • I mean wow there is so much wrong with this article. What about children who are hospitalised due to the complications of chickenpox? While relatively few do get complications, when they do they are severe. The point of vaccination is not so much for the person who's getting it, but also for everyone else around, so why take the risk to cause another person complications. Annually there are over 30 deaths from chickenpox each year, more than some diseases had before we offered immunisations for them. How dare you use the word "facts" in the sub headline while completely ignoring the over 7,000 hospitalisations and over 30 deaths due to the complications of chickenpox.

    On the shingles point, the reason the US, Australia and Germany and around 60 other countries offer the vaccine and continue to do so is because when they introduced the vaccine they saw no increase in shingles. Equally there is a shingles vaccine available free on the NHS so this isn't even a problem. Why are we letting kids get sick just to save the older population from something that's entirely preventable anyway?

    The sheer fact that a vaccine is privately available and is getting increasing uptake naturally means that age shift is going to occur unless it is given a national tender. Equally you can see the reasons why its so popular. Not having to take time of work, not risking your child being in hospital with a serious infection, no scars, not passing it on to pregnant women and immune suppressed. Problem is because of the cost, only some parents in a certain demographic can afford the vaccines leading to a two tier heath system and leaving kids who can't afford it at more risk, which is not the point of the NHS at all.

    For balance may I suggest you get a second opinion on this article from a consultant who see's the effect of chickenpox when it goes wrong rather than a GP who only ever see's mild cases and never has to deal with a severe one as they tend to go straight to A&E. Suddenly you'll see just how much support there is for a chickenpox vaccine.

    In short what a terribly uniformed article based on bias from a profession which is not an expert in the disease.
  • Thanks for your comment, northernstar. We’re sorry that you think our article was uninformed and based on bias. That’s obviously not what we want to hear, especially as all the MadeForMums editorial team work very hard to research and check our articles very thoroughly, and supply full references for any evidence we cite.

    We do take your point, though, that we didn’t state the facts on hospitalisations due to chickenpox complications. We have now added (and referenced) the 2018-9 NHS figures to the article, making sure we isolated the figures for children under 14.

    We have also, after speaking again to our expert GP and reading further research studies, added in more information about the possible change in thinking about the forecast rise in shingles should a chickenpox vaccine be introduced – and the fact that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is looking again at the data from countries where a childhood chickenpox vaccine is routine.

    Until the Committee makes any new recommendations, though, we feel it’s only right to present the NHS position on the chickenpox vaccine – and then to let parents make up their own minds.
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