Superdrug has reported more than 400 per cent spike in sale of the chickenpox vaccine in the UK.
To protect children against the disease during chickenpox season, nearly nine out of 10 patients (87 per cent) have taken their wards under the age of five for vaccination in the last eight weeks.
Chickenpox can be a seasonal disease with children usually catching it in the winter and spring, with UK peaks often between March and May.
The last two years of spending time in and out of various lockdowns have meant less interaction between people, and so less transmission across the general population.
Caris Newson, head of healthcare services at Superdrug, said: “One of the knock-on effects of Covid is that people have a greater awareness and understanding of the benefits that vaccines can offer.
“We launched the chickenpox vaccination service five years ago in 2017 and it’s now that we’re beginning to see greater interest in how it can support family health. In fact, our fully qualified nurses have told us that they’ve had more parents ask about the chickenpox vaccination service, and word of mouth has then spread amongst parents and schools.”
NHS advises that anyone with chickenpox needs to stay away from school, nursery or work until all the spots have formed a scab. This is usually for five days after the spots have appeared.
Dr Sara Kayat, Superdrug’s medical ambassador, added: “Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral infection, and whilst it tends to be a mild condition lasting one to two weeks, it can be very uncomfortable and in some rare cases can be severe. By having the chickenpox vaccine, you are likely to become immune to developing chickenpox, and if you do still get it, the symptoms are often milder, with fewer blisters and mild or no fevers.”
The vaccination is available at £70 per dose, and two doses — four to eight weeks apart — are recommended to give heightened immune protection.