Friday, June 26, 2009

The Chicken Pox Jab: To Do or Not to Do?

Recently, Mommy received an SMS from Juan Or's regular paediatric clinic. The SMS informed Mommy that a vaccination is about to be due and requested that Mommy call up the clinic for more information. Actually Mommy already expected the notification from the clinic because the next vaccination (which is an optional one) stated on Juan Or's appointment card indicates it to be the chicken pox jab and that the paediatrician did tell Mommy on the last jab visit to wait for the clinic to call for the next vaccination appointment. So Mommy called the clinic and confirmed it was the chicken pox jab. However, Mommy was actually more interested to know how much the chicken pox jab costs. The clinic assistant-on-duty answered RM110. "Wow, so expensive" Mommy thought. Then Mommy went on to ask whether the jab protects from all strains of chicken pox to which the answer was 95%. So Mommy told the clinic assistant that Mommy wanted to think it through first before arranging for an appointment.

So these are Mommy's thoughts: Chicken pox is quite a common one-time illness. Mommy had chicken pox before at the age of 9. All Mommy experienced was fever and pox rashes for about 1 week or so. No complications whatsoever. What if Juan Or gets chicken pox at toddlerhood? Wouldn't that be difficult for Mommy to handle? The crying, the refusal to eat, the crankiness and what not? If Juan Or gets chicken pox at childhood, then it's alright, but if at toddlerhood, how well can Mommy manage him? Are there any other serious complications if a toddler gets chicken pox?

So Mommy decided to look into the internet for answers. Mommy found this website to be the most informative and relevant. To put it in a nutshell, the article says that:

  • chicken pox is usually milder in a child than in an adult.
  • if one is to get chicken pox during adulthood, the likelihood of getting more serious complications is higher. And serious complications here are ear infection ( in 20 cases) and inflammation of the heart muscle, kidney, liver, pancreas, testes or various parts of the eye.
  • some children are at higher risk of developing complications from chicken pox and these are babies less than a month old, children with poor immune system (such as leukemia, immune disease and HIV patients), children taking certain medication (e.g. steroids, immune suppressing medicine, chemotheraphy), children with severe heart and lung disease, and children with severe skin condition.

With these facts in hand, so looks like Juan Or is not likely to experience serious complications if he is to get chicken pox. So, currently, Mommy's stand is at 80% for no chicken pox jab for Juan Or and 20% yes. What about other mummies' opinion and experience?


smallkucing said...

My answer is a "Yes". We did for Joshua. Minor complication or not, better reduce the chances. What if like now? With the swine flu about. What happen if so unlucky to have contracted both, how? Minor complication become life threathening. We won't know what other disease will pop up in the future. If can afford it ... then an get the jab.

Alice Law said...

Personal opinion, save your money for Pneumococcal Vaccine!

With a little dose of Acyclovir (Zovirax), treating Chicken Pox just like eating a piece of cake. Symptoms can recover within 24 to 48 hours (With less lesion)! Check this out

Let Juan Or builds up his own antibody against Chicken Pox, he is a strong boy, shouldn't be any problem!

mNhL said...

I agreed with the above comment by Alice Law. Let your child built his own antibody to fight off the virus or whatever. He will grow up even stronger.

Alice Phua said...

Thanks everyone for your opinions and comments. Appreciate it very much. Anyway, after much consideration, I have decided to let Juan Or build up his own antibodies against chicken pox (but that's if he gets chicken pox!).

Mrs Kam said...


Chicken pox is a type of virus infection. A person would not built up the antibody for it since it's a virus. Once he/she gets infected, the chicken pox will come out, only varies in term of how serious it is, and again, not because of the antibody (cos it's none), but how strong/healthy the person is. The "good news" is chicken pox seldom leads to complications, but only brings discomfort.

I won't hesitate to let my kids get the vaccine (my boy already had it). Aren't we always say - prevention is better than cure!