Vaccination for chickenpox in adults is a key issue for many. Society has long been divided into two opposing camps. Should I get an unscheduled vaccination? What is dangerous for chickenpox for an adult? What could be the consequences? The most relevant questions will be answered in our material.
At the start, attention, but there is no finish
Chicken pox is called a childhood disease, since about 80% of children have time to get it before it enters the first grade of school. However, in recent years, statistics relentlessly proves the opposite - chickenpox matures and increasingly affects teenagers, adults and the elderly.
The culprit of the disease - the virus Varitztsela-Zoster, once in the body, manifests itself not immediately. The incubation period lasts from three to ten weeks and only after that the “lucky person” becomes infectious for society.
After the discovery of the virus, chickenpox is also in no hurry to identify itself and tries to hide behind the symptoms of other infectious diseases:
- general weakness of the body;
- fatigue and body aches;
- sometimes increased body temperature.
Only a couple of days later watery bubbles appear on the body, which after several days burst and overgrown with a crust. If you hope that this is all over, then nothing. The disease will continue the attack, and more and more new ones will come to replace the "fallen fighters of the invisible front".
But the worst is not even that. A child who has become ill with chickenpox will be on its feet already in 10 days, but with adults the situation is much worse. According to the data of the same implacable statistics, the frequency of complications after chickenpox in adults is 6%, and in the elderly, up to 20%. And it is in these groups that the monstrous percentage of deaths from complications is 25-50%.
In severe cases, the disease affects the functioning of such organs and systems:
- nervous system;
- lymph nodes.
As a result of re-infection in adults, more often than in children, purulent damage to soft tissues and sepsis develop, and pneumonia can occur.
But even if the disease passed without complications, the virus can remind of itself after many years. The fact is that even after recovery, microbes remain in the human body and safely slumber in the nerve nodes, waiting for the slightest weakening of the immune system.
Five weighty arguments for vaccination
The only option to somehow protect yourself from the appearance of chickenpox is to get vaccinated. And this is where the problems begin, because the vaccines against chickenpox are not included in the planned list, which means they are paid for and at will. Having heard horrible horror stories and stories of strangers who have made themselves vaccinated against smallpox, many adults do not dare to go to the doctor, fearing more harm to the body, rather than protect it from infection.
But you can look at the problem from the other side:
- In recent years, about 1 million people have had chickenpox in Russia, of course, by and large these are children, but this figure also has its own percentage of the adult population. There are cases with a fatal outcome. For example, in the US, up to 100 people per year were killed from chickenpox before routine immunization began.
- The vaccine will first reduce the chances of getting infected, and then completely nullify the effect of the virus, producing an immunity ability to resist microbes.
- There are people who, for one reason or another, suffer from chickenpox harder. At risk include pregnant women, patients with tumor pathologies, carriers of AIDS, the elderly and diabetics.
- Another undoubted advantage of vaccination - in old age, it will protect you from the occurrence of shingles. In our time, this disease threatens every 4-5 people.
- Finally, vaccination is beneficial from an economic point of view. Just calculate how much it will cost to stay on sick leave and then compare the amount received with the cost of vaccination.
It would seem that all the arguments and facts simply scream that vaccination against chicken pox needs to be made in the state planned calendar and done, starting from childhood. But it is not known whether this will happen in the future and when this bright moment will come, so you have to look for alternative options.
Where to go and what suspension to choose?
At the moment, only two types of varicella vaccine have been registered in the Russian Federation:
In both preparations, the main active ingredient is the same Varizzella-Zoster virus, but in a weakened state. Preparations are suitable for vaccination of both adults and children and are imported medicines. But between suspensions there are some differences:
- Vaccination "Varilriks" is done in several stages: an adult will need to make another injection after 1.5-2 months;
- Okavaks vaccine is suitable for single use.
The injection is made under the skin in the shoulder area or intramuscularly. It is strictly forbidden to inject the suspension into a vein, and the hip portion is not suitable for vaccination. Each of the vaccines after a few years, an adult must be re-introduced, since none of the suspensions guarantee the development of lifelong immunity.
When a person has already become infected with chickenpox, medicine can offer "Acyclovir" - this is perhaps the most effective drug. By the way, for its development received the Nobel Prize Gertrude Elyon - a biochemist and pharmacist from the United States.
As for the options for where to get a chickenpox vaccine for an adult, here the choice is not particularly great. In Moscow and the Sverdlovsk region, such vaccinations for children, starting from the age of three, are planned. In other regions, the necessary vaccines are often not in regular polyclinics. You can try to be immunized in a private clinic or call the nurse at home.
With a 100% probability of a paid vaccination, you can in special urban centers in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg.
Complications: are they so scary?
The first thing that scares adults in a vaccine against chickenpox is the negative feedback from people with a colorful description of the consequences. And here it is important to understand that even after a planned immunization, the body will always and must respond to the intervention, because this is how immunity is produced. In most adults, such reactions are minimal and manifest as local pains at the puncture site, slight swelling and redness of the skin.
There are reactions and more active, although they occur very rarely. So, after the injection, 5% of patients may have nausea, vomiting, body temperature, rash and itching. But this first of all proves that everything would have been a hundred times worse if the person had not been vaccinated.
Given all the pros and cons of vaccination, it is worth noting that the threat to life with the disease of chicken pox in older age is much higher than the chance to get complications after the injection. It is better to get vaccinated and forget about the problem for many years. Be healthy!