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The Chickenpox vaccine is very safe and effective at preventing the disease6. As Varicella vaccination is not included as part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule those who wish to receive it should consult with their GP or pharmacist7. Vaccination may be considered for any non-immune persons aged ≥12 months7. Two doses of vaccine are needed, at least 4 weeks apart8. The vaccine is not recommended for those who have weak immune systems9.
For most children, chickenpox is mild and can be treated at home and they will recover after a week of symptoms appearing without needing to see a GP7,6. However, sometimes there can be complications, such as bacterial infections of the skin, infection of the lungs, infection or swelling of the brain and blood infections, so it is important to know what to look out for10. Some people with serious complications from chickenpox can become so sick they need to be hospitalised10.
Patient information on chickenpox can be found at www.chickenpoxaware.ie
- https://www.rcpi.ie/healthcare-leadership/niac/immunisation-guidelines-for-ireland chapter23.pdf (Accessed July 2023)
- VARIVAX | SPC | MSD Ireland (Human Health) Limited | Medicines.ie (accessed July 2023)