Medical Q&As

Booster vaccination - child fit for it?

My four-year-old daughter is due to have her booster vaccination. However, she has recently had chicken pox, and although recovered still has traces of where the spots were and is more tired than usual. Should I postpone the booster for a while and is it ok for her to start school without having had the booster?

It would be desirable for your daughter to be vaccinated before she commences school however; it is not absolutely essential to do so. The practical consideration here is that when she goes to school she will be mixing with a large group of children, many of whom will not have been fully vaccinated due to the disappointing level of vaccine uptake. Therefore if the general level of immunity in the school is not high then an unvaccinated child is at greater risk of being infected. It is interesting to note that in the USA it is not possible to gain access to school unless it can be demonstrated that the child has completed a full course of childhood vaccinations. I note your comments about the recent bout of chicken pox. The chicken pox has subsided even though faint marks are still present on the skin. Also, it is not unusual for a child to be tired following a childhood illness such as chicken pox. It would be reasonable to give your daughter a course of vitamin supplements because vitamin levels can be depleted following a bout of infection and this can contribute to fatigue. I would proceed with vaccination over the coming weeks so that the child is fully protected when she commences school.