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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know...<br><br>
If a child had one dose of Varicella vax, could exposure to the actual disease a few years later be a "booster", instead of getting that second dose of vaccine? I was talking with a friend the other day and she was saying that her son got the vax when he was a toddler, but she's since educated herself and doesn't want to give the second dose. She was wondering if she could just expose him now. I thought it was a great question and couldn't stop wondering about it...so I'm posting.<br><br>
Could this method work, or does the vax somehow negate any immunity offered by actual exposure?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I posted this on another board and a couple people said exposure is exposure, so it would work, theoretically. One person said the strains are different (wild vs. vax) so it wouldn't work.<br><br>
Thoughts??
 

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I acutally was coming here to ask this question.<br><br>
I vaxed my kids before I knew better, and now am wondering about this. CP is in our area, and I'm wondering about intentionally exposing them. My concern is with the strains being different I'll somehow do more harm than good by exposing them.
 

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My DD got the Varicella vax when she was 1 year old. She got Chicken Pox when she was 2. She got them again when DS got them, so DD was 8. Both times she had a very mild case. I still don't know if she's actually immune. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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far as i am concerned if you are esposed to a wild strain.. even with the vax, you have just as likely a chance of getting good old fashioned chickenpox as anyone else.<br>
the varicella vax.. yeah, not sure that is useful for very much.<br><br>
so if you have vaxxed kids, i'd not go exposing them to anything, as their immune systems have taken a big enough hit by haveing vax's. kwim?<br><br>
and also, they have the same chance of getting shingles as well. from either a person that has chicken pox or if they have close contact with someone with shingles.
 

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BOR, Wild-type varicella infection will boost the titre of a previously vaccinated person. The vaccine if it doesn't prevent infection entirely will at least attenuate disease severity even if re-activation of the vaccine strain occurs (shingles). Exposure to different strains will not make a difference as the vaccine strain is cross-protective for wild-type strains. Any pathogenic infection subsequent to a recent vaccination can cause severe symptomology although the immune system doesn't 'take a hit' (in general) from vaccinations administered years previously, quite the contrary in fact. Wild-type varicella exposure to previously vaccinated immunocompromised individuals has also demonstrated a 'booster effect'.<br><br><i>Varicella vaccination: evidence for frequent reactivation of the vaccine strain in healthy children. Source: Nature medicine [1078-8956] Krause yr:2000 vol:6 iss:4 pg:451 -4</i><br><br>
SM
 

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Also, when the CDC added Varivax to the US schedule, they said they expected the vaccine to last for 20 years or more, based on Japanses studies.<br>
Well, in Japan, they didn't universalize the vaccine. They only gave it to a very small number of kids, so varicella circulation wasn't affected, meaning the vaxed kids were "boostered" by natural exposure regularly. And over there, one dose did work 20 years (or it could end up being even longer...time will tell).<br><br>
So that says to me that natural exposure absolutely can serve as a vaccine booster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all so much! I think my friend will be happy to hear this. That is, if she can even find chicken pox...I've been looking for it for awhile. Looks like I may need to travel to get my kids exposed.<br><br>
Thanks again. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Sorry to chime in so late. I did a lot of research on this one and we did not vax for chicken pox although my girls have yet to come down with it despite a few exposures.<br><br>
That aside, I requested info from the vax manufacturer and got the package insert from my dr. The insert specifically states that exposure to cp in day to day life works as "wild type boosting" and that they do not know how long the vaccine will continue to be effective in the absence of such exposure. Since the # of cases of wild type cp as so much fewer than they used to be, the likelihood is that the vaccine will be less effective than it originally was.<br><br>
In original studies from Japan it was something like 25% of adults who were vaxed with the varicella vax as children or preteens and who were then exposed to the wild type as adults who came down with cp. So, the vaccine was not fantastically effective even with the wild type boosting, but is likely to be much less so in the absence. So, I'd say to expose as much as possible post vaccine to have the greatest likelihood of decent immunity.
 
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