Chicken Pox & Shingles Vaccine Question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 01-29-2014, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What exactly is the difference between Zostavax and Varivax? According to the package insert from Merck both contain the Oka/Merck strain of live, attenuated varicella virus. Although in the Varivax insert it states the following:

11
DESCRIPTION
VARIVAX [Varicella Virus Vaccine Live]
is a preparation of the Oka/Merck strain of live, attenuated varicella virus. The virus was initially obtained from a child with wild-type varicella, then introduced into human embryonic lung cell cultures, adapted to and propagated in embryonic guinea pig cell cultures and finally propagated in human diploid cell cultures (WI-38). Further passage of the virus for varicella vaccine was
performed at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) in human diploid cell cultures (MRC-5) that were free of adventitious agents. This live, attenuated varicella vaccine is a lyophilized preparation containing sucrose, phosphate, glutamate,and processed gelatin as stabilizers

http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/v/varivax/varivax_pi.pdf

 

Whereas in the Zostavax insert only this:

 

11
DESCRIPTION
ZOSTAVAX is a lyophilized preparation of the Oka/Merck strain of live, attenuated varicella-zoster virus (VZV). ZOSTAVAX, when reconstituted as directed, is a sterile suspension for subcutaneous administration. Each 0.65 mL dose contains a minimum of 19,400 PFU (plaque-forming units) of Oka/Merck strain of VZV when reconstituted and stored at room temperature for up to 30

minutes.

http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/z/zostavax/zostavax_pi2.pdf

 

The non-active ingredients are a bit different but the active ingredient is the same. Is this correct? So Zostavax is simply a booster shot for the 60+ generation. But why not just adminster Varivax? Why are there 2 vaccines? And why put these (residual components of MRC-5 cellsincluding DNA and protein; and trace quantities of neomycin and bovine calf serum.) in the elderly version?

 

Plus apparently there is no real consensus yet whether the chicken pox vaccine prevents shingles or not.

  http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Will-chicken-pox-vaccine-stop-shingles-4254236.php

 

I have to agree with the mercola article. Just love it

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/11/02/chicken-pox-vaccine-creates-shingles-epidemic.aspx

 

 

Sorry for the long post. Just trying to better understand some processes plus had an argument with DH who by the way suffered from shingles after receiving the chicken pox vaccine.

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#2 of 11 Old 01-29-2014, 02:04 PM
 
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From http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/shingles/hcp-vaccination.htm

 

"Zostavax®, the vaccine to prevent herpes zoster (also referred to as shingles or zoster), consists of attenuated (Oka-strain) varicella virus at a concentration at least 14 times that found in Varivax®, the vaccine to prevent varicella (chickenpox). Zostavax cannot be used in children and cannot be used in place of varicella vaccine. Varivax cannot be used in place of Zostavax. Zostavax should not be used in children and is not a substitute for the varicella vaccine.

The vaccine is administered subcutaneously as a single dose. The vaccine should not be injected intramuscularly. However, it is not necessary to repeat vaccination if the shingles vaccine is administered intramuscularly."

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#3 of 11 Old 02-03-2014, 09:05 AM
 
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I don't get why this vaccine exists. I had Chicken Pox, every one got Chicken Pox, it was no big deal. Also my hubby had Mumps, so did my mom. My Dad had Measles. I also hear that the Chicken Pox vaccine is causing shingles!


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#4 of 11 Old 02-03-2014, 11:20 AM
 
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My sisters dr admitted to her the shingles vaccine is nothing more than a money maker for pharma, and recommended against it for a healthy adult. 

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#5 of 11 Old 02-03-2014, 11:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nexxus View Post
 

I don't get why this vaccine exists. I had Chicken Pox, every one got Chicken Pox, it was no big deal. Also my hubby had Mumps, so did my mom. My Dad had Measles. I also hear that the Chicken Pox vaccine is causing shingles!

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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#6 of 11 Old 02-03-2014, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I understand that now that the chicken pox vax is out there less kids will contract chicken pox which in turn means that the pool for older people to get in contact with carriers and refresh their own immunity is going down. So more elderly people will be getting shingles hence the 'need' for another vaccine for just this age group. And as stated above apparently it needs to be 14 times as strong to do the trick. A lot of younger people who have received this vaccine since it came out in 1995 have come down with shingles. Go figure for yourselves.

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#7 of 11 Old 02-04-2014, 10:41 AM
 
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I have an entire subgroup of friends, in their 20's, mostly in various medical fields, who've gotten shingles not once but multiple times - some yearly.  It's insane!  At this point, I'm not concerned about DD coming into contact with CP - but I keep hoping to come across some wild pox myself for a nice little immune boost!!

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#8 of 11 Old 02-05-2014, 08:02 PM
 
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That's just scary because shingles is only supposed to happen in much older people after getting Chicken Pox in childhood  ...and they only get it once!

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#9 of 11 Old 02-05-2014, 09:33 PM
 
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My husband has had shingles twice; the second time was very mild.

I had shingles once--at age 25, right after getting 4 vaccines at once (DPT, hep b, MMR, and gamma globulin).
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#10 of 11 Old 02-06-2014, 07:57 AM
 
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I am in my 60s and I have not had it yet. Not looking forward to it. I understand that being around little ones who have chicken pox may help stimulate the immune system against the herpes zoster virus - chicken pox and or shingles.

Quote:
 A lot of younger people who have received this vaccine since it came out in 1995 have come down with shingles

Maybe not. The immunity will wear off and they may get chicken pox as adults. And then they will get shingles later. Just a guess.

 

Just another reminder to us that it is not nice to fool Mother Nature.


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#11 of 11 Old 02-06-2014, 08:29 AM
 
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Now along the lines of exposure, I've read that exposure to shingles can lead to chicken pox...anyone know if exposure to someone with shingles would be a booster for someone who has had CP already? Similar to CP exposure to boost previous CP immunity...

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