The varicella vaccine protects against chickenpox
(varicella), a common and very contagious childhood viral illness.
Chickenpox Immunization Schedule
The varicella vaccine is given by injection when kids are between 12 and 15 months
old. They receive a booster shot for further protection at 4 to 6 years of age.
Kids who are older than 6 but younger than 13 who have not had chickenpox also
may receive the vaccine, with the two doses given 3 months apart.
Kids 13 years or older who have not had either chickenpox or the vaccine need two
vaccine doses 1 to 2 months apart.
Why Is the Chickenpox Vaccine Recommended?
The chickenpox vaccine prevents severe illness in almost all kids who are immunized.
It's up to 85% effective in preventing mild illness. Vaccinated kids who do get chickenpox
generally have a mild case.
Possible Risks of Chickenpox Immunization
Possible mild effects are tenderness and redness where the shot was given, fever,
tiredness, and a varicella-like illness. There is a very small chance of an allergic
reaction with any vaccine.
A rash can happen up to 1 month after the injection. It may last for several days
but will disappear on its own without treatment. There is a very small risk of febrile seizures after vaccination.
When to Delay or Avoid Chickenpox Immunization
The varicella vaccine is not recommended if if your child:
had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of varicella vaccine, or components
of the vaccine. which include gelatin and the antibiotic neomycin