Superdrug has reported a 410% uplift in sales of the chickenpox vaccine between April 2021 and April 2022 as parents sought to protect their children against the disease during chickenpox season.

Nearly nine out of 10 patients (87%) who were vaccinated in the last eight weeks by the multiple were children under the age of five.

The vaccination is available at £70 per dose and two doses administered four to eight weeks apart are recommended to give heightened immune protection, said Superdrug.

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 the Covid-19 pandemic and 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.’

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 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 five days after the spots appeared.

Earlier this month, Superdrug launched the UK’s first high street perimenopause health screen service to support people who are experiencing symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and erratic menstrual flow.