NHS Service

How Effective is the Chickenpox Vaccine?

Chickenpox also known as varicella is caused by the varicella


Chickenpox also known as varicella is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Although many people think of chickenpox as a childhood disease, adult are still susceptible to it. Chickenpox can be serious in babies, adolescent, adults, pregnant woman, and people with a weakened immune system. If you have had chickenpox as a child, it is unlikely that you will get chickenpox as an adult. Chickenpox symptoms are the same symptoms displayed in children but become more severe. Symptoms start one to three weeks after exposure to the virus. Symptoms include:

  • Flu-like Symptoms such as fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, body aches and headache.
  • Red spots Will appear on the face and chest and then spread over the entire body. The red spots are very itchy and turn into fluid-filled blisters.
  • Blisters will weep fluid and become sores, they will then dry out and form a crust and heal. The spots caused by chickenpox are normally very itchy. However, they usually pass within a week.

Adult can display more severe symptoms and develop further health complications such as:

  • Dehydration
  • Pneumonia
  • Joint inflammation
  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Sepsis

How can Touchwood pharmacy help?

The varicella Vaccine is only offered by the NHS to certain vulnerable groups. At touchwood Pharmacy located in Sydenham and Northolt we provide the vaccine for as little as £65 per dose. It is suitable for men and woman from the ages one 1 to 65. It is given as 2 separate injections into the upper arm and usually 4 – 8 weeks apart. When you get the chickenpox vaccine you will be injected with a weakened strand of the virus. This will stimulate your immune system to produce antibodies that will help protect you from getting chickenpox in the future.

The varicella vaccine is safe and effective at preventing chickenpox, but like many medications they can have side effects. The most common side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. These include redness and pain at the sight of the injection, fever, mild flu-like symptoms, and irritability.

Serious side effect after getting the vaccine is very rare, these side effects include, infection of the lungs and liver, seizures, diarrhoea, drowsiness, and very high temperature.