What Is Varicella?
- Airborne droplets of moisture that contain the virus
- Direct contact with fluid from a varicella rash
- General feeling of discomfort
- A rash of small, flat, red spots that become raised to form round, itchy, fluid-filled blisters
What Is the Varicella Vaccine?
Who Should Get Vaccinated and When?
- Up to age 13 years—2 doses, with 3 months between the first and second dose
- 13 years and above—2 doses, with a minimum of 4 weeks between the first and second dose
What Are the Risks Associated With the Varicella Vaccine?
- Soreness or swelling around the injection site
- Mild rash
Who Should Not Get Vaccinated?
- Are ill—Wait until you feel better to get the shot
- Had varicella
- Had a life-threatening allergic reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin, or a previous dose of the varicella vaccine
- Are pregnant—Get the vaccine after you have given birth. Women who are trying to get pregnant should wait until 1 month after getting the shot to get pregnant.
What Other Ways Can Varicella Be Prevented Besides Vaccination?
What Happens in the Event of an Outbreak?
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
Immunization American Academy of Pediatrics http://www2.aap.org/immunization
Vaccines & Immunizations Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines
Baker CJ, Pickerling LK, et al. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Recommended adult immunization schedule: United States, 2011. Ann Intern Med. 2011;154(3):168-173.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommended immunization schedules for persons aged 0-18 years—United States, 2011. MMWR. 2011;60(5).
Chickenpox vaccine: What you need to know. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/varicella.html. Updated March 13, 2008. Accessed November 28, 2012.
Klein NP, Fireman B, et al. Vaccine Safety Datalink. Measles-mumps-rubella-varicella combination vaccine and the risk of febrile seizures. Pediatrics. 2010 Jul;126(1):e1-8.
Marin M, Broder KR, et al. Use of combination measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR Recomm Rep. 2010 May 7;59(RR-3):1-12.
MMRV and Febrile Seizures. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccines/MMRV/studyfeature.html. Updated February 7, 2011. Accessed November 28, 2012.
Varicella. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated August 21, 2012. Accessed November 28, 2012.
Varicella (chickenpox) vaccination. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/varicella/default.htm. Updated April 5, 2012. Accessed November 28, 2012.
1/31/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommended immunization schedules for persons aged 0-18 years—United States, 2008. MMWR. 2008;57;Q1-Q4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MMWR website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5701a8.htm. Updated January 10, 2008. Accessed January 28, 2008.
10/14/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Macartney K, McIntryre P. Vaccines for post-exposure prophylaxis against varicella (chickenpox) in children and adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;(3):CD001833.
12/9/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Weinmann S, Chun C, et al. Incidence and clinical characteristics of herpes zoster among children in the varicella vaccine era, 2005-2009. J Infect Dis. 2013 Dec:208(11):1859-68.
- Reviewer: David L Horn, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 12/2013 -
- Update Date: 01/13/2014 -