Trends in Vaccination for Herpes Zoster (Chickenpox)
Dr.T.V.Rao MDChickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by prim...
protect you if you've already been exposed to chickenpox? Yes, it is 70–100% effective if given
within 72 hours of exposur...
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Trends in vaccination for herpes zoster (chickenpox)


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Trends in Vaccination for Herpes Zoster (Chickenpox)

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Trends in vaccination for herpes zoster (chickenpox)

  1. 1. Trends in Vaccination for Herpes Zoster (Chickenpox) Dr.T.V.Rao MDChickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV). It usually starts with vesicular skin rash mainly on the body and head rather than at the periphery and becomes itchy, raw pockmarks, which mostly heal without scarring. On examination, the observer typically finds skin lesions at various stages of healing and also ulcers in the oral cavity and tonsil areas. It can spread easily; one can get it from an infected person who sneezes, coughs, or shares food or drinks. We can also get it if we touch the fluid from a chickenpox blister. A person who has chickenpox can spread the virus even before he or she has any symptoms. Chickenpox is most easily spread from 2 to 3 days before the rash appears until all the blisters have crusted over Chickenpox is most easily spread from 2 to 3 days before the rash appears until all the blisters have crusted over.A varicella vaccine was first developed by Michiaki Takahashi in 1974 derived from the Oka strain. It has been available in the US since 1995 to inoculate against the disease. Some countries require the varicella vaccination or an exemption before entering elementary school. Protection from one dose is not lifelong and a second dose is necessary five years after the initial immunization, which is currently part of the routine immunization schedule in the US. The chickenpox vaccine is not part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule in the UK. In the UK, the vaccine is currently only offered to people who are particularly vulnerable to chickenpox. A vaccinated person is likely to have a milder case of chickenpox if infected Chickenpoxvaccine protects us against a very uncomfortable and sometimes serious disease. CDC recommends two doses of chickenpox vaccine for children, adolescents, and adults. Children should receive two doses of the vaccine—the first dose at 12 through 15 months old and a second dose at 4 through 6 years old. Two vaccines containing varicella virus are licensed for use in the United States. Varivax® is the single-antigen varicella vaccine. ProQuad® is a combination measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (MMRV) vaccine. Both vaccines contain live, attenuated varicella-zoster virus derived from the Oka strain.All adults who have never had chickenpox or received the vaccination should be vaccinated against it. Two doses of the vaccine should be given at least four weeks apart. If you've never had chickenpox or been vaccinated and you are exposed to chickenpox, being vaccinated right away will greatly reduce your risk of getting sick. Studies have shown that vaccination within three days of exposure is 90% effective at preventing illness; vaccination within five days of exposure is 70% effective. If you do get sick, the symptoms will be milder and shorter in duration. According to the study, published last week in The Journal of the American Medical Association, found the effectiveness of the vaccine is found to fade substantially a year after it is administered. Varicella is not included in the National Immunization Program. But the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) places Varicella under optional vaccines. Varicella can be given to children once they're older than 15months.In IAP categorization, Varicella is placed in Category 3 which are 'vaccines to be given after one discussion with parents'. Other vaccines in this category are Hepatitis A, Rotavirus...etc.How effective is this vaccine? Almost all (97%) children between age 12 months and 12 years develop immunity to the disease after one dose of vaccine. For older children and adults, an average of 78% develops immunity after one dose and 99% develop immunity after the recommended two doses. Although some vaccinated children (about 2%) will still get chickenpox, they generally will have a much milder form of the disease, with fewer blisters (typically fewer than 50), lower fever, and a more rapid recovery. The vaccine almost always prevents against severe disease. Getting chickenpox vaccine is much safer than getting chickenpox disease. Can the vaccine
  2. 2. protect you if you've already been exposed to chickenpox? Yes, it is 70–100% effective if given within 72 hours of exposure. Can the vaccine cause chickenpox? Because this vaccine is made from a live, but weakened, virus, about 1% of recipients develop a mild form of the disease, consisting of a limited rash, most often with only 5–6 blisters. Usually there is no fever. These people are then safe from the more serious, naturally occurring form of the virus. (Adapted from ZOSTAVAX is new vaccine it is a live attenuated virus vaccine indicated for prevention of herpes zoster (shingles) in individuals50 years of age and older.Merck & Co., Inc. announced that the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted unanimously to recommend that adults 60 years of age and older be vaccinated with ZOSTAVAX? [Zoster Vaccine Live (Oka/Merck)] to help prevent shingles (herpes zoster) ZOSTAVAX was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 25 for the prevention of shingles in individuals 60 years of age and older. ZOSTAVAX is not a treatment for shingles or post herpetic neuralgia (long-term nerve pain that can be a complication of shingles). ZOSTAVAX is given by a single dose by injectionLimitations of ZOSTAVAX: --ZOSTAVAX is not indicated for the treatment of zoster or post herpetic neuralgia (PHN) ZOSTAVAX is not indicated for prevention of primary varicella infection (Chickenpox)SC- The recommended dose is 0.65-mL as a single dose, in the deltoid region of the upper arm.CONTRAINDICATIONS- include History of anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reaction to gelatin, neomycin, or any other component of the vaccine, Immunosuppression or Immunodeficiency;one should not be confused with utility of ZOSTAVAX, from the other vaccines used for primary prevention of Chickenpox with earlier vaccines, In spite of availability of several vaccines the question, and is it highly essential to take Vaccination for Chickenpox? Not well answered. (for more information Search CDC Atlanta) Dr.T.V.Rao MD Professor of Microbiology A freelance writer