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From Iowa, USA:

I have a 3 year old with diabetes. Our doctor advised us to give her and her twin sister the new shot to prevent Chicken Pox. They received the shot on Friday and were exposed to Chicken Pox on Monday. Will the shot protect them or at least diminish the intensity of the Chicken Pox, or will it make it worse?


First of all, I suggest you discuss this issue with your childrens' pediatrician. I am not an infectious disease specialist, but according to my understanding, protection against chickenpox is expected to be in effect by 4 to 6 weeks after the immunization. The protection is not 100 percent complete in all patients immunized. Some patients may still get a mild form of chicken pox. I don't know if anyone has studied whether or not protection starts in the first week after immunization. I am not aware of any reason the immunization should make the chicken pox worse. Keep in mind that the majority of young children go through chicken pox without any serious complications as long as they make sure they keep the pox free of infection. (Chicken pox can be dangerous to newborn babies, adults, and to anyone on steroids, chemotherapy, or other immunosuppressants.)

You should anticipate if your child with diabetes gets chicken pox, her blood sugars may go up and she made need extra insulin. You should also anticipate that she may not want to eat or drink if she gets chicken pox in the mouth and you should have cold apple juice or regular soda in the house in case that is all that she will take in for a few days.


Original posting 26 Jan 98


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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