Chicken Pox Booster Shots in Short Supply - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/20/07

Chicken Pox Booster Shots in Short Supply

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Chicken pox is a childhood disease that can lead to deadly complications.  The CDC recommends that children receive two doses of the chicken pox vaccine before the age of six, the second shot being a guarantee of immunity later in life.  But now, a shortage of the vaccine is making it tough to get that second shot, a booster that doctors say should not be ignored.

Dr. Christine Halaburka, a pediatrician says, "In spite of getting the first vaccine, there is a certain percentage of children who only receive one vaccine who would have breakthrough chickenpox, not nearly as severe as regular chickenpox but were clearly contagious."

The real concern is that older kids who are infected may pass it to a youngster who could die from the illness.  Initial symptoms of chicken pox include running a fever and feeling tired.   The risk of passing the infection on is high because before the sickness is physically obvious, they can already be contagious and can spread it to children and infants.   

The CDC says even though the booster is in short supply, parents should be vigilant about requesting, and getting, their children that second dose. The immunity from that booster should last a lifetime.

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