Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Chickenpox: Does your child need a booster?

We are currently experiencing an outbreak of Chickenpox at one of the childcare centres in the area and a few of the children are experiencing breakthrough chickenpox even after they had their first Chickenpox vaccination.

Please note that no vaccine is 100% effective and evidence has shown that even after the first vaccination, approximately 2 in 10 kids may still contract Chickenpox. We call this "breakthrough" chicken pox. Breakthrough Chickenpox is often a milder form of the disease and usually does not last as long as compared to kids who have not been vaccinated.

Because of this, the US has been advising parents to give their kids a booster jab ie, the doctors in the US are now giving children 2 jabs instead of one. The second jab is to be given at least 3 months after the first one. In Singapore, the MOH has not recommended a booster Chickenpox jab yet.

*Note that even if the child has been exposed to kids with chickenpox, the vaccine has been shown to be effective if given within 72 hours of exposure.

Since it is less than 2 weeks to the Chinese New Year, many of our parents are very stressed since they have already made plans to go overseas or even just the fact that they will not be able to do their customary visitations.

If your child has not yet taken the chickenpox vaccination, please do consider bringing them to the clinic for a jab. If your child has already taken the first jab, you might want to consider taking a second one to give them a higher level of protection. After the first jab the protection level is around 80%. This increases to more than 90% after the 2nd jab.

Chickenpox is usually a mild disease, but it can be very stressful if it disrupts your travel plans! We even have mothers who are pregnant who have to make special arrangements to isolate themselves from their children!

You can read more about the recommendation from the US CDC by clicking here.

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