Vaccines and Preventable Diseases:
Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccination
Chickenpox vaccine is the best way to prevent chickenpox. Vaccination not only protects vaccinated persons, it also reduces the risk for exposure in the community for persons unable to be vaccinated because of illness or other conditions, including those who may be at greater risk for severe disease. While no vaccine is 100% effective in preventing disease, the chickenpox vaccine is very effective: about 8 to 9 of every 10 people who are vaccinated are completely protected from chickenpox. In addition, the vaccine almost always prevents against severe disease. If a vaccinated person does get chickenpox, it is usually a very mild case lasting only a few days and involving fewer skin lesions (usually less than 50), mild or no fever, and few other symptoms.
What You Should Know:
For Health Professionals:
What You Should Know
- Brief description
Symptoms, treatment, transmission, etc.
- Questions and Answers
- Pictures of Varicella
Warning: Some of these photos are quite graphic.
- Exposure Parties (Chickenpox Parties) (exit)
- As an adult, do I need this vaccine?
(19 years and older)
- Side Effects
- About chickenpox and chickenpox vaccination
Parent's Guide to Childhood Immunization (screen-reader version)
- Vaccine Information Statement (VIS)
- Questions and Answers
- School Vaccine Requirements
- Varicella prevention mandates for day care & school entry (exit)
As with all vaccines, there can be minor reactions, including pain and redness at the injection site, headache, fatigue or a vague feeling of discomfort.
- CDC's Vaccine Safety website
- Are vaccines safe? (exit)
FAQs on The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia website
- What if we stopped vaccinating for this disease?
- Who should not be vaccinated with Chickenpox (Varicella) vaccine?
- Pregnancy guidelines
For Health Professionals
Disease related questions:
Vaccine related questions:
- Vaccine specific
- Healthcare workers
- Storage and handling
- Eligibility - who should receive vaccine
- Recommendations for those at high risk
- NIPINFO answers your questions about Varicella
- New recommendations
- ACIP recommendations
- ACIP Provisional Recommendations
- Healthcare Personnel Vaccination Recommendations (exit)
- ACIP - Vaccines for Children (VFC) Resolution
- MMWRs on Varicella
- Recommendations, references, and resources from IAC (exit)
- Pink Book's chapter on Varicella (541 KB, 22 pages)
Epidemiology & Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases textbook
- VARIVAX Pregnancy Registry
- Travelers Health: Yellow Book
- Surveillance manual's chapter on Varicella
Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases textbook
- Strategies for the Control and Investigation of Varicella Outbreaks
- Surveillance worksheets
- Clinical education slide set
from the "Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases" course
- Podcasts on immunizations
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Content last reviewed on June 12, 2007
Content Source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases