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Infectious Diseases

Chicken Pox Vaccine

02/04/2000

Question:

I wanted to know what is known about the efficacy and endurance of the Chicken Pox vaccine and it`s immune response. Is it known how long immunity persists? Is is known what percentage of people challenged with chicken-pox, after vaccination, come down with the disease? What complications are experienced with Chicken Pox, as a child as opposed to as an adult?

Answer:

Varicella vaccine has been available since March 1995 and is approved for use in healthy children 12 months of age or older, and susceptible adolescents and adults.It is highly effective in protecting against severe chicken-pox. Cases of disease caused by the wild virus,which may occur in a small proportion of vaccinees(less than 1%-4.4%), are typically very mild, with fewer than 50 skin lesions and no fever.The seroconversion rate of varicella vaccine among suceptible children 12 months to 12 years of age is 97%.Among vaccinated persons 13 years of age or older, 78% seroconvert after the first dose of varicella vaccine, and 99% seroconvert after a second dose.The vaccine has proven to be effective for more than 10 years in preventing varicella.Complications include pain and redness at the injection site.The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System and the vaccine manufacturer have received a limited number of reports of serious medical events occuring within 6 weeks after vaccination, including 4 cases of encephalitis, 7 cases of ataxia and 10 cases of erythema multiforme.3 cases of anaphylaxis have occured within 10 minutes of vaccination. A causal relationship between the vaccine and these events has not been determined.For more information please follow the link below.

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Varicella

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Response by:

Pamposh   Kaul, MD Pamposh Kaul, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati