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Chickenpox vaccine

Chickenpox (Varicella) Vaccine at Fleet Street Clinic

Our Central London Clinic offers a private service for chickenpox vaccination. The chickenpox vaccine is not part of the NHS childhood vaccination schedule in the UK, though it is in other countries such as the US.

Our private chickenpox vaccine service is performed by expert doctors and nurses, who have many year’s experience of vaccinating children. Despite national shortages, we are working to maintain good levels of  chickenpox vaccine in stock. Our family friendly clinic is sympathetic to parents’ needs and concerns, and we welcome any vaccine-related queries.

What is chickenpox?

  • Chickenpox is a highly contagious infection caused by the varicella zoster virus.
  • It typically causes a fever, and a rash consisting of itchy, inflamed pimples that soon turn into blisters that crust over to form scabs. It is not unknown for people to have up to 500 blisters or more over their entire body.
  • In the UK, it most often affects children.
  • It can be itchy and uncomfortable, can leave scars, and can sometimes cause severe disease. Adults may suffer more serious symptoms, including pneumonia. In people with reduced immunity, chickenpox can be fatal.
  • In countries where chickenpox vaccine is given routinely (such as in the USA),  protecting vulnerable populations with reduced immunity is considered to be a major reason for using the vaccine widely.
  • Chickenpox is spread by inhaling droplets coughed up by people infected with the virus, or by physical contact.
  • People with chickenpox become contagious about 2 days before the appearance of the rash, which can make it difficult to avoid becoming infected.

What does the chickenpox vaccine do?

Chickenpox vaccine contains live, weakened virus that stimulates immunity to varicella zoster virus and protects against chickenpox.

Who should be vaccinated against chickenpox

The chickenpox vaccination can be given both to children and to adults. Chickenpox is more serious in adults.

If you have recently been exposed to a person with chickenpox, and have not had chickenpox in the past, there may be some benefit to being vaccinated. Early vaccination may prevent the disease appearing, or may make it less serious. The vaccine will also protect you from future exposure to chickenpox.

We can perform a blood test to check your immunity (results available within 24 hours) – many individuals who are concerned about possible exposure turn out to be already immune.

Who should not receive the chickenpox vaccine

Chickenpox vaccines contain a live virus, and therefore should not be given to individuals who have reduced immunity (e.g. as a result of HIV, or cancer chemotherapy) or during pregnancy. If other live vaccines are also needed, they should be administered on the same day or with a gap of at least one-month between them for optimal efficacy. We will be happy to advise you in more detail when you attend.

Possible side effects of the chickenpox vaccine

The most common side effect of chickenpox vaccine is soreness around the injection site. A mild rash may also develop in 10% of vaccinated children.

How is the chickenpox vaccine given?

The chickenpox vaccine (varicella vaccine) can be administered from the age of twelve months onwards.

Two doses of vaccine are necessary, normally with a 4 week gap between the doses.

Appointments for chickenpox vaccine (varicella vaccine) take place at our central London clinic. Each appointment typically takes 15 minutes.

What are the costs of the chickenpox vaccine?

You will need to book an appointment with one of our nurses. Our chickenpox vaccine costs £98 per dose plus nurse fees. More information can be found here.

To Book

For further details and appointments call Fleet Street Clinic on 0207 353 5678 or book an appointment online.

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