Vaccinations are an important part of your child‘s routine healthcare, but there are some vaccinations that are not usually offered to children in the UK. One of these is the chickenpox vaccine, which is part of the routine childhood vaccinations in some other countries. However, you might want to consider arranging this jab for your child through a private clinic.

Chicken Pox Vaccination

Why Isn’t the Vaccine Offered to All Children?

The vaccine isn’t routinely given in the UK because chickenpox is usually a relatively mild infection and most children will recover from it quickly, without any complications. About 90% of us have had the infection by the time we are 15. After having chickenpox once, we are usually immune to it for the rest of our lives. Since this is the case and the NHS has to make difficult decisions about the treatments it can fund, chickenpox vaccination is not considered essential for children in the UK.

Reasons to Get the Vaccine

Although the chickenpox vaccine isn’t required for every child in the UK, you might want to consider getting it if:

  • Your child has a health condition that makes them particularly vulnerable to chickenpox or the potential complications, especially if they have been in contact with someone who has chickenpox or shingles.

  • Another family member doesn’t have a fully functioning immune system (for example due to having received a donor organ), so they are vulnerable to chickenpox complications but unable to have a live vaccine themselves. Vaccinating siblings or other family members can protect them.

  • You plan to move to or back to a country where chickenpox vaccinations are given to all children as it may be a requirement for entering school or college.

  • Your son is a teenager and he has not had chickenpox before. Men are at greater risk of complications if they are infected in later life.

  • You want your child to have the vaccination for another reason, even if it is just because you are worried about chickenpox or want to avoid having your child off school for a week if they catch it. The vaccine is very safe, so there isn’t usually any reason to avoid it if you want to have the jab.
Dr Parviz Habibi Available At

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