Chicken Pox Vaccine, Interview with Dr. Thomas Gross

It's not as common as it used to be, but still, nobody wants the chicken pox.

So what's the best way to protect your kids?

A new study says a double dose of chicken pox vaccine is your best bet.

Pediatricians have been giving two doses of the vaccine since 2006, but this is the first time a study shows just how much more effective a double dose is than a single dose.

So if you missed your second shot it's not too late to catch up.  From 1994 to 2006, the number of chicken pox cases in the US declined an astonishing 98 percent.
That's the time frame when doctors first began recommending double dosing on the vaccine.

Now, by law, a child must be vaccinated by the age of one.  The second shot is recommended at around 4 and 5-years-old.

According to the study chicken pox cases are now down in every age group.  As more people get vaccinated, fewer are transmitting the disease. If you were born before 1995 you probably already had chicken pox.

The issue now is getting the word out to teens and young adults who only took a single dose.
If they haven't gotten chicken pox yet, it's a good idea to follow up with your doctor about that second shot.

“Ask yourself am I vulnerable to getting really ill, when I go off to college or something?  It's something both doctors and patients need to think about to really ensure that they're covered," said Dr. Thomas G Ross, Lovelace Family Physician.

The doctor says the most vulnerable people are infants, pregnant women, and people under 30.
It is still unknown whether the chicken pox vaccines directly protects against shingles, a painful disease you can get later in life if you've had chicken pox.



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