Chickenpox (varicella) is a common contagious illness caused by a type of herpes virus. Many states require that children entering day care and school have the vaccine unless they show proof of immunity (doctor's diagnosis or blood test results).
The vaccine works well and is recommended for:
- All healthy children 12 months of age and older who have not had chickenpox. It is given in 2 doses: the first at 12 to 15 months and the second at 4 to 6 years.