A private vaccination service offering protection against the chickenpox virus.
Are you an adult who didn’t catch chickenpox in childhood? Or caring for someone with a weakened immune system caused by chemotherapy treatment or HIV?
The chickenpox vaccination could offer you and your family the protection you need.
Visit your local branch of Whitworth’s Pharmacy to find out more or book your chickenpox vaccine today.
Chickenpox is a highly common viral infection caused by the varicella zoster virus. It’s highly contagious and usually caught in childhood before the age of 10.
Its most well-known symptom is a red rash that turns itchy and develops blisters. These dry up to become scabs. These can first start on the back, chest and face and soon spread over the rest of the body.
Other symptoms can include fever, loss of appetite, headache and aches and pains.
Most people don’t need to see their GP as the symptoms are usually mild, but in rare cases, it can cause complications and serious reactions including hospitalisation and even death.
Once you’ve had chickenpox, the virus can lie dormant in your body for years and it can sometimes flare up again as shingles in later life. This is a condition which is often very painful and in serious cases can cause complications, such as loss of sight and meningitis.
While chickenpox is usually a mild illness, the NHS recommends that certain groups receive the vaccine. This includes:
● Health workers
● Laboratory workers who come into contact with the virus
● Those who are in contact with someone with a weakened immune system such as those with HIV or undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
Women who plan to conceive a child within the next year and aren’t already immune. Note that the vaccination should never be given to pregnant women as it can cause birth defects.
The chickenpox vaccination service is suitable for everyone between the age of one and 65 years.
However, it’s not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone with a weakened immune system or anyone who has received the MMR vaccine in the last four weeks.
First, you’ll need to pop into your local branch of Whitworth or give us a ring to book your appointment.
On the day of your appointment, we’ll take you into a private consultation room and ask you a few questions about your health and any medication you’re currently taking. This will help us decide whether you are suitable.
You’ll then receive the first dose of the chickenpox vaccine. Adults and children over two are usually vaccinated in the upper arm, and children under two will usually receive it in the thigh.
Then we’ll ask you to return for your second dose at least six weeks later.
1. Is the chickenpox vaccination free?
The Chickenpox Vaccination Service is a private service so a cost is involved for the two doses. However, certain groups of people are able to get the vaccination on the NHS. Click here for more details.
2. How long does the chickenpox vaccination service appointment take?
Both appointments should take around 20-30 minutes. However, we will allow extra time if needed.
3. I’ve already had chickenpox. Do I need to get immunised?
No. Most people only catch chickenpox once.