Chickenpox vaccine

Fonte: dpa picture alliance / Alamy / IPA

What is chickenpox

Chickenpox is a rash disease caused by the virus varicella-zoster. It is transmitted orally or by contact with the vesicles of a sick person. It is generally one benign disease, although it can be very annoying especially in the little ones.

Despite this it can provoke pneumonia in 23 cases out of 10.000 infections, brain damage in one case out of 10 thousand as well as bacterial superinfections of skin lesions that can leave permanent scars. In rare cases, the disease causes thrombocytopenia (deficiency of a clotting factor) and inflammation of the cerebellum which can lead to impaired motor coordination (cerebellar ataxia). Infants and people with immune system deficiencies are most at risk of serious complications.

Read also: Exanthematous diseases: chickenpox

Vaccination against chickenpox

The chickenpox vaccine has been available since 1995. It consists of live attenuated viruses. It is marketed both in isolated wording is combined in the so-called quadrivalent vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox). Vaccination covers 95% (i.e. in 5% of the vaccinated the contagion occurs anyway).

Vaccination provides two doses, to be administered at 13-15 months of life and at 6 years.

Since 2022 chickenpox vaccine is one of them required by law. Read also: Compulsory and voluntary vaccinations, the calendar

The vaccine is also recommended for adults who have not contracted the disease but are working in high-risk environments, such as schools or hospitals. It is also suitable for women of childbearing age who are not already immune, as an infection in pregnancy can cause harm to the fetus.

It is typically a vaccine well tolerated. It can give local reactions at the injection site (treatable with cold packs and paracetamol). In some very rare cases it can cause febrile seizures.

Read also: Are vaccinated children contagious?

Sources: The information on the efficacy and indications of the vaccines, and the epidemiological data contained in the information sheets on the individual vaccines are based on official documents of the Higher Institute of Health and of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta (USA)




Updated on 09.04.2022

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