Can't Find Varicella Vaccine Anywhere!

  1. I'm starting to run into a real big problem. I'm 27, and never had the chickenpox, and I cannot find ANYWHERE that offers the adult vaccination. My school wants me to have the vaccines done before our clinical rotations start in February. And I'm all for it as well, since I'd rather not take the risk of serious complications that can arise from an adult contracting it. On top of this, you are not allowed to miss ANY clinical days or you are dropped from the program, so if I were to contract it, that'd be the end of me being in the nursing program.

    I've tried my doctor, nearly every health unit in the phone book, random doctor's offices all throughout the phone book, and I've called the hospital and was given more phone numbers of places that may carry it, and I get the same answer everytime, "nope, sorry, we don't carry it". I went through this with my meningitis shot too, NO ONE offered it to adults here, but I finally found a place that did (for $150) and it had to be ordered. I finally got that one done. However, even that clinic does not carry the chickenpox (Varicella) vaccine for adults.

    Any suggestions?? I swear, I feel like I may have to jump states just to find a doctor that'll offer it!
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    About x_factor

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 528; Likes: 326


  3. by   TheCommuter
    Have you tried calling the public health in nearby counties? You might have to commute to another county in a different part of your state to get this particular immunization done. Public health clinics usually have every single vaccination under the sun. My local public health clinic gives them to adults for $20.
  4. by   gamecock_24
    [FONT="Georgia"]Have you checked with any of your pharmacies? I know that Walgreen's offers vaccinations at certain locations in my area. They usually have to order the vaccine and you have to have a prescription from you physician, but I do know pharmacists who are giving these vaccines.
  5. by   Twinmom06
    I didn't think the adult version was any different than the kids version except I had to have 2 doses
  6. by   classicdame
    The CDC keeps track of who has the vaccines. Call them
  7. by   Clovery
    What area do you live in? I was just at Walgreens and I saw a sign that said they offer the meningitis vaccine...

    For varicella, have you tried called OBGYN offices or Pediatricians? Usually they do titers on pregnant women and if they're found to be nonreactive for varicella they will vaccinate them after they deliver. Pediatricians might have the varicella vaccine for teenagers, which would be the same as an adult, I would think. I got it when I was 15 when the vaccine first became available, since despite attending chickenpox parties I could never catch it.
  8. by   ChristineN
    I echo the other recommendations to contact the health department. Also, any place that offers the varicella vaccine for peds should be able to vaccinate you. You would just need 2 shots instead of the 1 shot recommended for children.

    I never had chicken pox as a kid, but got the 2 dose vaccine as a nurse's aide through the hospital I worked for at the time for free. If you work in the medical setting you might also try that.
  9. by   IslandRae
    Definitely try the health department.
  10. by   tokyoROSE
    Forgive me if this is silly, but why were you not immunized as a child? If you did receive the vaccine, you can get titers to see if you still have immunity.
  11. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from tokyoROSE
    Forgive me if this is silly, but why were you not immunized as a child?
    I might have some insight into why the OP did not get vaccinated with varicella as a child. According to her profile, the OP is 27 years old and was probably born in 1984, so the varicella vaccine did not even exist during this person's very early childhood years. Varicella immunizations were not freely given out to young children until the middle 1990s.

    I'm 30 years old and was born in 1981, so I'm about 9 years older than you. I was not immunized with this particular vaccine as a child because the varicella vaccination did not exist during my early childhood years. During those days, kids became immune from varicella from contracting chickenpox, and luckily I became became sick with it at the age of three or four. Some people, like the OP, never contracted the chickenpox as a child, so they had no other way to become immune to it because the varicella vaccine was not around in the 1980s.

    When compared to the other vaccines, varicella is a newer immunization. It was not until 1995 that the varicella vaccine was mandated. Since you are 21 years old, you were likely born in the early 1990s, and therefore, the varicella vaccine was in existence by the time you were 4 or 5 years of age.
  12. by   x_factor
    Just an update... I cannot find anywhere that offers this vaccine. I've called every Walgreens in a 4-5 hour radius from where I live, and almost all offer the Shingles vaccine, but not the Varicella vaccine for chickenpox. I've tried all the health units, I've called doctor after doctor after doctor even in towns and cities hours from where I live.

    I'm in Louisiana, if anyone has any other suggestions!
  13. by   x_factor
    Just tried nearly 25 Rite-Aid stores that, online, say they offer it, but once I called they do not and only offer the shingles vaccine. I'm getting so discouraged, and a little worried on what I'm going to do if I can't find it.
  14. by   nurseprnRN
    i'd go to your nursing school, tell them how hard you have tried to get this, and ask them what they suggest; perhaps there's a connection they can make with some clinical placement.

    fwiw, i had heard that there was a shortage in the country... but hey, you knew that.