Chickenpox Vaccine and Pregnancy
As soon as the pregnant woman delivers her baby, she should be vaccinated against varicella. The first dose of vaccine can be given before she is discharged from the hospital and the second dose at the 6-week post-partum visit.
Key information about the chickenpox vaccine and pregnancy include the following:
- The effects of the varicella virus vaccine on the fetus are unknown; therefore, pregnant women should not be vaccinated. Non-pregnant women who are vaccinated should avoid becoming pregnant for one month following each injection. For susceptible people, having a pregnant household member is not a contraindication to vaccination.
- If a pregnant woman is inadvertently vaccinated or if she becomes pregnant within four weeks after varicella vaccination, she should be counseled regarding the theoretical basis of concern for the fetus. However, varicella vaccination during pregnancy should not ordinarily be a reason to terminate pregnancy.
- VZIG (Varicella Zoster Immune Globulin) should be strongly considered for susceptible pregnant women who have been exposed.
- The CDC and the manufacturer of the vaccine have established the VARIVAX® Pregnancy Registry to monitor outcomes of women who got the vaccine three months before or any time during pregnancy. Call 1-800-986-8999 for more information.