Font Size
A
A
A

Chickenpox (cont.)

Chickenpox Prevention

Varivax, a two-dose vaccine for chickenpox, is highly recommended for healthy children, adolescents, and adults who did not have the disease during childhood. A chickenpox vaccine was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1995 and is widely available. A combination measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (MMRV) vaccine was licensed in the United States in 2005 and may be administered to children 4 years of age and older. (It is not recommended for younger children due to a rare possibility of a seizure associated with a fever as a side effect of the vaccine.)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all healthy children 12 months through 12 years of age receive two doses of chickenpox vaccine, administered at least three months apart. Children who have evidence of immunity to varicella do not need the vaccine. Those aged 13 and over who do not have evidence of immunity should get two doses of the vaccine four to eight weeks apart.

When fully immunized, the vaccine has been shown to be 95% effective in preventing childhood cases of chickenpox. A small percentage of newly immunized people will develop a mild rash. Pregnant women and infants younger than 1 year of age should not be vaccinated.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/13/2014

Must Read Articles Related to Chickenpox

Fever in Children
Fever in Children Fever is defined as a rectal temperature over 100.4 F or 38.0 C. Fever isn't life-threatening unless it is persistently high -- greater than 107 F rectal temper...learn more >>
Immunization Schedule, Adults
Immunization Schedule, Adults At least 45,000 adults in the United States die of complications of influenza, pneumococcal infections, and hepatitis B each year. These diseases, and others th...learn more >>
Immunization Schedule, Children
Immunization Schedule, Children Vaccinations are some of the most important tools available for preventing disease. Most children get all their shots during childhood. Parents should consult t...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Chickenpox:

Chickenpox - Treatment

What was the treatment for your chickenpox?

Chickenpox - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your chickenpox?

Chickenpox - Causes

What caused your chickenpox?

Chickenpox - Experience

Please describe your experience with chickenpox.

Chickenpox - Prognosis

What is your chickenpox prognosis?




Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Varicella »

Varicella, commonly known in the United States as chickenpox, is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary