The CDC issued an announcement alerting parents that chickenpox is a very contagious disease and a child may be at risk if he or she has never had chickenpox or has never gotten the vaccine. Chickenpox causes a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness, and fever. This can make a child feel sick and very uncomfortable and cause school absenteeism for five to seven days.
Children with chickenpox usually completely recover in a week. But, chickenpox can be severe for babies, adolescents, and those with weakened immune systems.
Prior to the vaccine, four million people would suffer chickenpox each year and 10,500 to 13,000 people were hospitalized because of it. There were 100 to 150 deaths related to chickenpox each year.
The CDC recommends children get the first dose of chickenpox vaccine when they are 12 through 15 months old and the second dose at age 4 through 6 years. People 13 years of age and older who have never had chickenpox should get two doses at least 28 days apart. If only one dose was taken in the past, the CDC recommends checking with a doctor about getting a second dose.
The CDC noted the chickenpox vaccine is safer than getting the disease, and parents should make sure their children are protected. See the announcement.