A recent article in the NZ Herald reported that Dr. Helen Petousis-Harris who works for the IMAC (an organisation which has in the past acknowledged funding from pharmaceutical industry as well as from the NZ Ministry of Health) has called for chickenpox vaccines (among others) to be made free for NZ parents.

Chickenpox is usually mild in children, although it can be more serious in adults, and occasionally children do get very ill with chickenpox, as was the case of a little girl whose mother was interviewed for the article.  (The article may be read at this link: http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11438670)

Like all acute viral infections, chickenpox would be expected to respond well to high doses of supplementary vitamin C.

(NB:  It is always prudent to get professional advice about vitamin C dosages for babies and children and certainly anyone who has any of the rare genetic disorders that increase the risk of adverse reactions from many medications including vitamin C – such as G6PD – or compromised kidney function should get professional advice about the suitability of supplementary vitamin C.)

Articles about chickenpox on websites often suggest using paracetamol (acetaminophen) to as a symptomatic treatment for the fever which is usually present in a chickenpox infection.  However, as giving any sort of antipyretic medication (a medication that lowers a fever) may also carry a risk of reducing the immune response to an infection, it would be prudent for parents to avoid using paracetamol or similar medications during a chickenpox infection unless they have been given professional advice that this is appropriate for their child.

(See this article for some recent research on how anincrease body temperature helps to activate the immune system: http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/news/2011/11/fever-plays-vital-role-in-immune-response.aspx )

Recent research suggests that the effectiveness if chickenpox (varicella) vaccination programmes may be disappointing, as you can read at this link http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4018876/

Some chickenpox vaccines use cells derived from aborted human foetal tissue as a culture medium for the viruses in the vaccine, so they may not be acceptable to parents who have religious, cultural or personal objections to abortion.  (These cells  are usually termed “human diploid cells” on package inserts or vaccine datasheets.  To check out the chickenpox vaccines in NZ, just type “varicella” into the search engine at this link: http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/DSForm.asp )

Another perspective on vaccination for chickenpox may be found at this link:  http://www.boughtmovie.com/bought-movie-bonus-short-chickenpox/


NB: The first 30 minutes of the excellent documentary film Bought may be viewed at this link: http://www.boughtmovie.com/


Suite editor’s note: If you found this article useful you may also enjoy the other articles on vaccination on this site.  The NZ Journal of Natural Medicine is published quarterly and you can browse the first twenty pages of each issue by downloading the free PDFs from our online shop at this link