Chickenpox Vaccination

Chickenpox Vaccination available at Peak Pharmacy - child with chickenpox

Chickenpox Vaccination Service

Protect yourself and others from Chickenpox (Varicella Zoster Virus) with the Chickenpox vaccine service at Peak Pharmacy.

Chickenpox is caused by a virus known as Varicella Zoster. It is a highly contagious, common childhood illness. To find out more about Chickenpox we have a great article, or you can learn more from the NHS.

Typically, 90% of people in the UK will catch chickenpox before the age 15 and you normally, only catch it once. When you have recovered from the viral infection you will have immunity to chickenpox for life.

The NHS recommends that the Varicella vaccine is administered to UK healthcare workers who have not previously suffered from chickenpox as well as healthy close contacts of immunocompromised (weakened immune system) patients. For example, this could be an individual who lives or spends a lot of time with someone who may currently be undergoing chemotherapy.

Some individuals are at greater risk from chicken pox, this includes people who are pregnant, adults and those who have weak immune systems. Symptoms of chickenpox get worse as we get older and despite symptoms for children often being mild, it will require time off from school, possibly causing childcare or work problems.

Who is the vaccine suitable for?

The chickenpox vaccine service is suitable for children and adults between 1 year and 65 years old, at the time they receive the first dose. It is aimed at adults and children who wish to be protected from the chickenpox virus and purchase a chickenpox vaccine privately. This also includes individuals who would normally be eligible through the NHS.

The Peak Pharmacy Chickenpox service is unsuitable for patients who:

  • are currently pregnant or breastfeeding
  • have previously suffered from an allergic reaction to a vaccine
  • suffer from conditions or take medicines that may impair their immune systems
  • or received an MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) within the last 4 weeks

Unsure if you are suitable? Don’t worry, our pharmacists will ask you questions during or prior to the appointment to make sure the vaccination is right for you or your child.

How much does it cost?

The varicella vaccine to protect against chickenpox is administered as 2 doses, separated by at least 4-6 weeks. This is a private service and the price per dose is:

Price: £65 per dose

Total Price: £130

Which Peak Pharmacy branches offer the service?

The Peak Pharmacy Chickenpox service is available in selected pharmacies.

Already had one dose elsewhere? Not problem, so long as you meet our eligibility criteria we can administration of the last dose.

To book an appointment give one of our participating pharmacies a call.

Are there any side effects?

Like most vaccines the Varicella vaccine is well tolerated but some people will have side effects, however they are usually mild.

Typical side effects from the vaccination are a fever (temperature above 37c) and injection site reactions like a tenderness, redness and swelling. Other side effects can occur and for a full list please have a read of the patient information leaflet for Varivax and Varilrix.

If you or your child develops a fever after vaccination then this can be managed using paracetamol. Injection site reactions can be managed using a cold flannel. Most side effects to the vaccine usually settle within a few days.

Why should I vaccinate my child against Chickenpox?

Chickenpox for most children is a mild illness, but for some individuals there may be complications, for example secondary infections caused by Streptococcus A.

The NHS childhood immunisation does not currently include Chickenpox as part of a standard schedule, however there are many countries in the world including the USA, Australia and Japan that do. The decision as to whether vaccine should or shouldn’t be included on the national immunisation schedule is made by the JCVI. Currently with all available evidence, as well as consideration of associated costs they do not believe mass vaccination is appropriate at this time.