Chickenpox is one of the most common illnesses in children, with around 90% of the UK population having had the telltale red bumps by the age of 15.
It is generally very mild in children, with symptoms often being a very uncomfortable itchy rash and a slight fever, and it’s often something they recover from with ease.
However, many parents still choose to opt to get their child vaccinated in order to avoid the disease altogether.
But do you need to give your child the jab, and where can you get it done?
Here is everything you need to know.
Do babies need the chickenpox jab?
The chickenpox jab isn’t part of your child’s offered vaccination programme in the UK, meaning parents are left to make the decision themselves.
Current official advice from the NHS is that children do not need the chickenpox vaccination unless they, or those around them, are vulnerable to the virus.
This is because the illness is incredibly mild, with most children making a full recovery in one to two weeks.
So, whether or not you get your child jabbed is entirely up to you.
You can read more about the vaccine on the NHS website.
What age is allowed the chickenpox vaccine?
Babies can get a chickenpox vaccine from as early as nine months – however, the minimum age can be 12 months, depending on where you go for the jab.
The jab is available for everyone up to the age of 65, but those who are pregnant or breastfeeding are advised against it.
Those who have the jab are recommended to get two doses between four and eight weeks apart.
The vaccine can cause a range of mild side effects, such as fever, tiredness or digestion problems. In some cases, it can cause a mild chickenpox-like rash up to one month after injection.
Where can you get the chickenpox vaccine?
The NHS only offers the jab if someone has, or comes into contact with someone, with a weakened immune system.
Otherwise, you can purchase the vaccine privately at travel clinics or even high street pharmacies. Boots and Superdrug also offer the jab.
It is worth noting that although Superdrug will give the jab to babies as young as nine months, Boots has a minimum age restriction of 12 months.
How much does the chickenpox vaccine cost?
Prices of the two doses can vary depending on where you choose to go and if you pay for one or two doses.
Superdrug currently offers two doses of the vaccine for £140.
Boots charge the same – or £75 for just one dose.
The NHS website states that 9 out of 10 people are fully immune after just one dose, but you might want to get two to boost your immunity.
MORE : Chickenpox and pregnant women – what are the risks?
MORE : How long is chickenpox contagious for, how long does it last and can you catch it twice?
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