Adults and the Chickenpox Vaccine
All adults who have never had chickenpox should be vaccinated. Immunity is especially important for adolescents and adults who have close contact with people at high risk for serious complications, and for those who are likely to come in close contact with children. The chickenpox vaccine is recommended for the following susceptible adolescents and adults:
- People who live or work in environments in which chickenpox transmission is likely. For example, teachers of young children, day-care employees, and residents/staff in institutional settings.
- People who live or work in places where chickenpox transmission can occur. People in this group include college students, inmates and staff of correctional institutions, and military personnel.
- Non-pregnant women of childbearing age (women should avoid pregnancy for 1 month following each vaccine dose).
- Adolescents and adults living in households with children.
- International travelers.
The length of protection/immunity from any new vaccine is never known when it is first introduced. However, available information collected from people who received the chickenpox vaccine in Japan and the United States show that protection has lasted for at least 25 years in Japan and more than 10 years in the United States.
Follow-up studies to determine how long protection will last and to evaluate the need and timing for a booster chickenpox vaccine are ongoing. If it is determined in the future that a booster dose is necessary, your healthcare provider will inform you. Currently, no booster dose for the chickenpox vaccine is recommended.