Chickenpox used to be very common in the United States. But the good news is that the vaccine has greatly reduced the number of people who get it. Chickenpox is very contagious — it spreads easily from person to person. Certain people — like infants, people with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women — are at increased risk for complications. The chickenpox virus can also cause shingles later in life. Shingles is a disease that causes a painful skin rash and can affect the nervous system.
Why get immunised against chickenpox?
Healthcare workers and chickenpox
If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. Many people think of chickenpox as a childhood disease, but adults can get it, too. In a healthy person, the varicella-zoster — or chickenpox — virus usually causes mild symptoms. However, in adults with chronic medical issues, especially those with weakened immune systems, more severe symptoms are possible. The chickenpox vaccine has helped reduce the number of people who get the virus each year, but chickenpox can still develop in people of all ages. In this article, we describe how to recognize and treat chickenpox in adults and look into whether adults can get the vaccine. Later, a person may notice a rash with tell-tale chickenpox lesions. Chickenpox blisters usually first develop on the chest, back, or face. They can then spread to other areas, including the eyelids, genitals, and the inside of the mouth.
Isn’t Chickenpox the Same as Shingles?
Chickenpox vaccines are given as a needle, either on their own or as a combined vaccine with measles, mumps and rubella. They can be provided by a variety of recognised immunisation providers. Vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect you from a serious case of the disease. The chickenpox vaccine also protects you from getting shingles later in life. By getting vaccinated against chickenpox, you can also help protect other people, especially people who are too sick or too young to be vaccinated. The more people who are vaccinated in your community, the less likely the disease will spread. Anyone who wants to protect themselves against chickenpox can talk to their doctor about getting immunised.
Back to Vaccinations. Chickenpox vaccination is not part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme. Find out more about who should have the chickenpox vaccine. While chickenpox during childhood is unpleasant, the vast majority of children recover quickly and easily. This would leave unvaccinated children susceptible to contracting chickenpox as adults, when they're more likely to develop a more severe infection or a secondary complication, or in pregnancy, when there's a risk of the infection harming the baby.