Vaccinated Child with Chickenpox?? - with a SWH

Updated on June 05, 2016
R.. asks from San Antonio, TX
16 answers

I have read several previous questions re-guarding this topic and haven't found what I was looking for...

I want to preface this with...yes, I know you guys are not doctors but could have real life experience with this and can tell me your stories/experiences....AND, I do have a doctors appointment for my DD this afternoon, so I can report back the actual doctor's diagnosis.

So, while I am waiting, I wanted to ask if anyone has a child who had chicken pox after being vaccinated against them? Did it present typically like chicken pox or atypically?

I have Googled and cannot seem to find much about vaccinated children getting chicken pox and what it looks like except "less extensive" than un-vaccinated chicken pox.

My DD (she is nine) woke up two days ago with what I thought were bug bites on her leg/ankle. They were red bumps that were very itchy (five of them). I used itch cream, and an ice pack. We went on about our day. About 12 hours later they had turned into fluid filled blisters. And she was trying not to claw at them. Then two of them broken open and drained so I covered them with band aids. This was at bedtime.

She woke me up at 4am with more on her arm that "hurt they were itching so bad"...I treated them and lay back down with her until time to get up.

I stripped her bed washed the sheets, vacuumed every inch of the bed frame, floor, baseboards, etc etc trying to catch this bug that was obviously biting her in bed.

Then I literally a few hours later, watched as four groups of bumps came up on the back on her leg. The ones on her arms now had blistered and a bit after that while watching tv, two more popped up the back of her other arm. NO way was she anywhere near a bug or had been bitten.

Her temp was 99.5 and she then was just laying on the sofa staring into tv, didn't want her tablet...just felt "yucky" runny nose, cough, or any other symptom. Just trying not to scratch.

This morning it looks like she might have a few on her face only time will tell if they get bigger and I booked an appt with her pedi...thinking we are still in the 3 day window for anti-virals if it is chicken pox (if that is needed)...temp still 99.5. Approximately 20 bumps/blisters/crusty places.

Plus she was in a play with an immunize compromised boy the past few months and the last performance was the day before this if it is pox, his family needs to know he might have been exposed.

Has anyone dealt with this?

Oh I tried oatmeal bath and she said they itched more rather than helping...cold packs seem to help the most.

I will give a so what happened later today...

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So What Happened?

Just got home from the pediatricians office...

She diagnosed chicken pox. She said when vaccinated kids do actually get chicken pox all bets are off as it does not react like typical chicken pox. She found all the different stages of pox on her from bumps coming up to crusted over spots. Not a single one on her chest, back, arm pits or groin where they "usually" start. But now they are coming up on her face, ugh!

So we are quarantined until all the spots blister and crust over. 10 to 14 days.

If your child is vaccinated and you think have chicken pox you just might. The give away was that the spots made a blister that looked like "dew sitting on a flower petal".

Good luck mamas out there...glad to pass on this information.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Yes, this sometimes happens. Not very often though. This is a fluke sort of thing and I don't think it shows that vaccines are fake or not worth doing. I think it's sad but imagine what it would be like if she hadn't had the vaccine. It could be 10 times worse.

As for the unvaccinated it possible she got this from him? Call the mom.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

It is possible to get Chicken Pox after vaccination but sounds like it could be poison ivy. Let us know what the pediatrician thinks.

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answers from Dover on

I have heard that kids can get chicken pox after vaccination as it only reduces the severity. I can tell you that I had chicken pox twice (first time mild, second time it was horrible). My son got it at about 8 months of age and it was bad but in turn he didn't get the vaccine. Personally, I would rather them get it and be done then get the vaccine and end up with it later in life because the old they are the worse they seem to be and can cause sterility). Having chicken pox builds future immunity better than the vaccine.

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answers from Miami on

I'm sorry about your daughter getting chicken pox.

My son got it in kindergarten. He had been vaccinated several years before. He had a much milder case of it because of being vaccinated. At least there was that.

His doctor told me at the time that about 20% of kids get it even after the vaccination. I was sorry about that because if you can prevent chickenpox, then later on you can't get shingles. unfortunately,, now my son can possibly get shingles. Oh well, I tried...

Have you tried calomine lotion? That helped for us...

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answers from Chicago on

my daughter got the shot at 18 months in Dec. 00, she got chicken pox for real in June 01.
She ended up with about 75 spots but the girl who she got them from who was also vaccinated in Dec. 00 only got 6 spots and we only knew it was chicken pox on her because of counting backwards 10 days from when my daughter got the spots.

When the first case girl got the spots they were in her diaper region. I was her daycare provider so I told the parents that cause they were in that region and they looked like chicken pox to give her a hot bath and if more popped up then we would know that's what it was. No more showed up, those that she had acted like chicken pox but since no more showed up we just assumed it was bug bites from changing her diaper while out and about. Ten days later my daughter who was the exact same age showed up with some spots that were exactly the same. After her nap she had ten more. So, it wasn't bug bites. I took her to the doc to confirm, and yep, it was the pox. She ended up with pox all over her body, all of them did what chicken pox do and two weeks later she had them all scabbed over.

If she never had the second chicken pox shot then you need to have them document in her chart that she got the actual disease or every school year they will have you get that documentation.

They are contagious for 10 days before the spots show up and it takes 10 days from exposure for spots to show up. Since kids who got the shot have very small cases that are missed you may not know who she got them from as the child may have just thought they were bug bites.

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answers from San Diego on

It is possible to get the chicken pox even after having the vaccine. If one does get it after the vaccine it's typically a much milder case and doesn't last as long as a full case would be had they not had the vaccine. I had a family member get them even though she was vaccinated. It was mild and didn't present the same as a full blown case. I'm glad you've already booked an appointment with her doctor, they will be able to tell you for sure what you are dealing with.



answers from Detroit on

I recently found out that my niece got chicken pox after the vaccine. Her sister and my kids never did. Shingles, however - I had that a few years ago at a youngish age and all I can say is get the vaccine. I hope she has a mild case!


answers from Springfield on

my dd was half vaxed when i got shingles. she was then exposed to the pox virus. she got a fw red bumps on the trunk of her body that barely itched, and after a day or two went away. her pedi stated that this was a typical case of pox in a partially vaccinated child. (final booster for the pox is delivered at i think age 5)
what you describe could be something different, i am glad that you ahve a drs appt and that you are going to find out whats going on . and please do update us with what it is. (i am also glad that you are thinking of the immuno comp. boys family... most wouldn't give that a second thought)



answers from Portland on

I don't have experience with getting chickenpox after we've been vacinnated no.

Thought I'd just throw this out there - just in case.

When I read through your description of itchy like red bumps, and she wanted to claw them - and they broke open and drained - and then more a few hours later and feverish .. that could have been me when I had gotten into some poison ivy.

Mine took a while to fully come out so I had these little bumps that oozed (horribly itchy) and then more in a different place, and then finally it stopped but I felt very ill.

My poison ivy spots/bumps were very crusty.

Probably not - but thought I'd mention it - I hope you get answers today :) best to your little one

ETA: Thanks for the update. I'm sorry she's got the chicken pox and that she's got to be quarantined :( Appreciate the info though


answers from Jacksonville on

I don't have any experience with it, but also wanted to thank you for not waiting (now that you know it isn't just bug bites, even if you don't know quite what it is for sure yet) to get her in to the doctor. I'd also suggest attempting to contact the immuno-compromised kid's parent and giving them a heads up. Even if you don't know yet what it is, if their child was exposed and is feeling off, it might help them get THAT child in faster than they otherwise might also. Especially given that it is almost the weekend.


answers from Santa Fe on

It sounds kind of like poison ivy (or poison oak) to me.


answers from Norfolk on

Chicken pox typically start with pox on your torso before appearing everywhere else.
So I'm thinking either poison ivy/sumac/oak or chigger bites are a possibility.

Our son was vaccinated and has been spared suffering from chicken pox so far.
I remember having them when I was about 6 - and it was beyond miserable.
Fever was over 100 (I think 102) and pox were EVERYWHERE - on my scalp, inside my mouth and ears, on my chest, back, behind, arms, legs, etc - it was so hard not to scratch (I still have 2 scars from where I did scratch) - and all we had was calamine lotion (Mom stood us in the tub and slathered it on) which really didn't help.

If she has poison ivy - the oil which causes the itching could be on clothes, shoes, socks,gloves, balls (or other sports equipment), yard gloves or tool - EVERYTHING needs to be washed - else the oil will keep rubbing off an spreading the itch.

A friend of mines son got poison ivy in the middle of winter.
Turns out a vine had been growing up a tree when it had been cut down and cut up into firewood.
The fire wood still had the vine and oil on it and when he carried it inside for the fire place - he got a major bad case of it.

Take her to see the doctor and if it's confirmed as chicken pox, then inform everyone she's been in contact with about it.


answers from Dallas on

My daughter, now 21, got the vaccine when it came out about the tie she was 2.

I thought nothing of it and never thought chicken pox would occur. We went on a spring break trip and when got home, she had a little itchy rash. My first thought was bed bugs from the hotel and I washed everything in the house.

I sent her to school because is wasn't that bad and a couple hours later the school nurse called me LIVID with me because I had just exposed everyone at the school to chicken pox. I had NO idea she could get it. She did and it was a mild case. I was mortified that I exposed school children and adults to this.

Nowadays, they require a booster around the age of 10.

Based on your description, I am not sure it is pox. Depending on where she was, it could be poison ivy.

Another story... A few years ago my daughter and I visited my brother and he has a house full of dogs. We love dogs so no issue there. However, upon arriving home, my daughter had bites with blisters on her legs and I took her to the pedi and was told it was flea bites. That grossed us out and I said that no one at the house was itching. The pedi said for someone living with the fleas, they become immune. It took 2 weeks to get that all cleared up on my daughter's legs. Ugh. Needless to say, we have never visited at my brothers house again.

Good luck and keep us posted!


answers from St. Louis on

I would be curious what it is but it doesn't actually sound like chicken pox. Did she have the whole series in the time frame recommended? The only people I know that got chicken pox didn't actually have the full vaccine. Of course those that actually got chicken pox have got it again.



answers from Chicago on

Both of my kids contracted chicken pox despite being vaccinated. Neither had a very severe case, but they did miss some school.



answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter had whooping cough despite being vaccinated. It was awful. It truly is the 100 day cough. My whole family including my parents were treated as a preventive measure because it is that contagious.

My county's health department called me as well as the CDC to collect info. Ironically, they told me only vacinated people had contracted the disease. Crazy!

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