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Varicella booster, necessary or dangerous?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi, Dr. Sears:

 

My daughter is 9. She received all the recommended shots at the recommended times (I was uneducated about vaccines at the time I had her and trusted what my doctor thought was right). Since then, I have learned a lot more about vaccines, and wish I had been more selective. I am concerned about damage to her immune system as she will be genetically prone to autoimmune disorders (I have two of them myself) and she already has allergies.

 

Now, her school has sent home a note saying she will not be allowed back in September without receiving her varicella booster. I was planing to execute a philosophical examption letter, but my husband is concerned about her not getting the shot. He worries that she will be more vulnerable to chicken pox, or that it will be more dangerous to her, since she had the first varicella shot (as it wears off, he is afraid she will be extra vulnerable to developing a dangerous case). Is that true? Can we safely skip the booster or should she receive it, having received the first shot?

 

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 3

I'm wondering the same.  I have a 7yr old son, and he was fully vaccinated (I too only trusted my doctor at the time).  I already filled out the exemption form for the varicella booster, as well as the MMR booster... but I was wondering the same thing about chicken pox.  Is he now at higher risk of having severe complications, since he may not get them  until he's much older?  I have a 3 year old, a 20 month old, and one on the way... so no doubt, we'll be having chicken pox in our house at some point in the next few years.

post #3 of 3

With one dose, he'd likely have a mild case if he does catch it.  But with the one dose, he's fairly unlikely to catch it. If he does catch it when older (teens) you can ask your doctor about taking acyclovir - an anti-viral that really minimizes the disease without interfering with immunity.  I gave it to my kids when they had Cpox and they sailed through it. Ask YOUR doctor if acyclovir is right for YOU! (Side effects may vary, and incluce . . . . . )

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