Dr Ahmed F Massoud, Consultant Paediatrician and Endocrinologist at The Portland Hospital
Q. My 5 year old still hasn’t had chicken pox and I’ve heard there is a vaccine. Should we consider it?
A. A vaccine against varicella, the virus which causes chicken pox, is indeed available and many countries offer it routinely. The vaccine is available in the UK but is not part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule.
Varicella infection in an adult results in a more pronounced illness with more serious consequences. Countries that vaccinate against varicella in early childhood also advocate vaccinating everyone who is 13 years or older who has never had chicken pox.
There is still a reasonable chance that your 5 year old will get the natural infection without being unduly affected. It is therefore worth waiting a few more years before proceeding with the vaccine.
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