Chicken Pox Immunization Fades Over Time

Researchers have discovered that chicken pox immunization actually fades over time. In fact, 9.5% of the individuals from the examination experienced "breakthrough disease."

Looks like chicken pox cannot be tamed in one shot. After examining ten years of data on more than 11,000 recipients of the vaccine, researchers have discovered that the immunization actually fades over time. In fact, 9.5% of the individuals from the examination experienced “breakthrough disease,” as reported by the New England Journal of Medicine last year. Although the breakthrough was mild and children who suffered it typically got fewer lesions, it nonetheless confirms that a booster shot may be recommended in order to ensure that the condition does not return. The US Centers for Disease Control has already issued a statement recommending that children be given a booster for chicken pox between the ages of four and six, and that all children between one year and 12 years should receive two doses of the vaccine if they have not already. Additionally, children 13 years of age and even adults who have not had the disease can be given two doses four to eight weeks apart.

This new information could result in a resurgence of a combination vaccine that was available in the US in 2006 and was used for the prevention of chickenpox, measles, mumps, and rubella. The vaccine was meant to cut down on the number of shots children would need. Although it is no longer available, a spokeswoman for Merck and Co. (http://www.merck.com), manufacturer of the vaccine, stated that it should be available once again in 2009.

Additional Information on chickenpox vaccine:

http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/healthy/vaccines/193.html

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-varicella.pdf