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Are there serious risks for chicken pox vaccine for adults?

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 

I've been ttc #2 for over a year and just switched to a new RE who decided to test my varicella titers when doing my blood work. It came back "equivocal", and he wants me to get the vaccine. The only time I had cp was when I was a few weeks old and all my siblings had it (very mild). I looked up the stats and there is a less than 2% chance that my baby would have birth defects IF I even contracted chicken pox during the first 20 weeks. After ttc for so long and having a recent failed IUI, I don't really want to put ttc on hold for this, but I also don't want my child to be negatively affected.

 

Everything I read talks about how people want their kids to get cp because it's so much worse as an adult. Would those same people recommend it for their adult child if they never developed immunity? Other than reactions like "mild rash" or "sore injection site", is there any severe, documented risk that I need to worry about with getting this vaccine? (ps, I'm not new, just a new screen name)

post #2 of 97

The rates of severe reactions are very low. The most likely outcome is that it'll be fine. You might have a sore arm and a mild fever. If you have CP as a child and you have low immunity now there is a risk of developing shingles (a re-emergence of the varicella virus which is currently lying dormant in your body). I'm not sure what the impact of having shingles would have on your health while pregnant, but I don't think I'd want to risk it.

post #3 of 97
Thread Starter 

Yes, I know the risks are very low which is why I'm even considering it, but since I recently had a friend develop GBS after his vaccines (not varicella), I would at least like to know what the possible reactions are. My husband has had shingles twice as an adult so I know how painful they can be, and I know there can be serious complications. Is there evidence that shows the vaccine can prevent shingles outbreak? I know that being naturally exposed to cp is supposed to keep the virus in check, is it just that same idea?
 

post #4 of 97
Breakthrough chicken pox is somewhat common. The CDC claims that it's mild. I helped an adult friend get through a nasty, nasty case of it, however, so my anecdotal experience will cloud my judgment on this issue. innocent.gif I'm honestly not trying to scare you out of it, and you'll probably be OK if you go this route. Definitely confirm that you're not pregnant before you get the vax, though. Good luck with your decision.
post #5 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by lydilu View Post

I know that being naturally exposed to cp is supposed to keep the virus in check, is it just that same idea?

Yes exactly the same. Except The virus in the vaccine is weakened so its much much less likely you'll get sick from it. smile.gif
post #6 of 97
Breakthrough chicken pox is when vaccinated people get wild chicken pox. It's not when people get chicken pox from the vaccine.

I would not get chicken pox vaccine if I was pregnant, but if I was planning on getting pregnant and my immunity was so so I would definitely get it.
post #7 of 97

What about an older senior adult who never had pox? is the vaccine safe? my clients daughter was thinking about getting the shingles shot until i pointed out since she never had pox, and how would a shingles shot affect someone who didn't have pox....i told her to get her titers checked for pox, but i doubt she will..her aunt has shingles which brought about the convo about the chicken pox and how she didn't think she had them, but wanted a shingles shot.

post #8 of 97
Thread Starter 

Another question- my doc said we only have to wait 4 weeks after the vax to try to get pregnant, and that is what the CDC also says. However, Merck's insert for varivax says you need to wait 3 months to get pregnant, and another website said you should avoid even being around pregnant women (and newborns) for 6 weeks after the vax. Is there another vaccine that I would get, not varivax? Why all the discrepancies?
 

post #9 of 97
Vaccine inserts err WAAAAAAAAAYYYYY on the side of caution. They list a variety of "side effects" that aren't even caused by a vaccine, they just showed up in clinical trials by random chance. I would go with the CDC on this one.
post #10 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

Vaccine inserts err WAAAAAAAAAYYYYY on the side of caution. They list a variety of "side effects" that aren't even caused by a vaccine, they just showed up in clinical trials by random chance. I would go with the CDC on this one.

Don't you generally go with the CDC on pretty much everything vaccine related?

Also, unless you can back up those statements, they should be left as the opinions that they are.
post #11 of 97
I think the CDC is an awfully good source of information, but I don't always agree with them, no.
post #12 of 97
And I actually originally learned the thing about side effects and vaccine inserts from dr bobs vaccine book.
post #13 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post


Yes exactly the same. Except The virus in the vaccine is weakened so its much much less likely you'll get sick from it. smile.gif

No actually its not the same at all. 

post #14 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marnica View Post

No actually its not the same at all. 

 

Yes it is in that it's "reminding" your immune system of what the virus/bacteria/toxin looks like to give a boost to its ability to quickly fight off an "invasion" of them. 

post #15 of 97

If you didn't develop immunity to CP from having had it, what are the chances that the vaccine will even work? Not saying that I completely doubt it, I just wonder. Some people seem to develop immunity more easily than others. I don't think I ever had chicken pox, at least not that I can recall (Both parents deceased and my baby book was lost, so I dont' know), but I still test as immune to it in my 40s (and never had the vax).

post #16 of 97

I do have a friend that has had cp 3 times, twice as an adult. For her, it probably wouldn't work. I had one scab/pox as a breastfeeding newborn. I'm not surprised at all that such a mild case did not create lifelong immunity. I even have friends that won't go to a pox party until their toddler is done nursing because they say there is evidence that bf prevents lifelong immunity (I haven't looked into this, just what one told me). 

post #17 of 97

I'm not surprised she didn't develop full immunity from having it as a really small baby when her immune system was still immature and (if her mom was breastfeeding) when she was partly fighting it with mom's antibodies rather than her own.

 

I wonder if the 3-month recommendation is related to the recommendation to get 2 doses of the vaccine. The package insert isn't clear about whether it's 3 months from the first shot or the last one. Now I'm really interested to know why their recommendation differs from the CDC's.

 

If it were me I would get it and delay ttc. I wouldn't want to put the fetus at risk. Particularly if I were having to go through a lot of medical help to get pregnant. 

 

I am going to poke around more and see if I can find out more about the 4 weeks vs 3 months.

post #18 of 97

I'm not having much luck figuring out where that time recommendation comes from. The CDC seems to have 4 weeks as standard for live vaccines. None of the sources in the Varivax package insert seem salient. 

 

I did find this, though: http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/197/Supplement_2/S178.long . It is an analysis of 10 years worth of data from the pregnancy registry on Varivax, including women who got the vaccine anywhere from 3 months before pregnancy to during pregnancy. There weren't any cases of congenital varicella syndrome reported and the rate of birth defects was similar to the general population. So I suppose you could take home the message from that that 4 weeks or 3 months may not really matter, since it doesn't sound like there's a risk to the vaccine in pregnancy on those counts anyway. You might also ask the RE where he is getting his information.

post #19 of 97
It has chemicals in it too so of course its risky.
post #20 of 97
Everything has chemicals. Water is a chemical. Having chemicals in it does not immediately mean it's risky.

However perhaps what you mean is all medicines carry some risk of unwanted side effects, which I obviously agree with.
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