Chickenpox Home > Chickenpox Vaccine

The chickenpox vaccine, also known as the varicella vaccine, was approved by the FDA in 1995 and is now widely available in most healthcare facilities. The vaccine is the best way to prevent chickenpox (80 to 90 percent of people who are vaccinated are completely protected from the chickenpox virus). The most common side effects of the vaccine include soreness, redness, or swelling where the injection was given.

What Is the Chickenpox Vaccine?

In 1995, the Food and Drug Administration approved the varicella vaccine, also known as the chickenpox vaccine, for the prevention of chickenpox. The vaccine is now widely available in private doctors' offices and public health clinics.
The chickenpox vaccine is the best way to prevent chickenpox, therefore protecting children and adults from the severe complications (including death) that can occur with chickenpox.

Who Should Use the Vaccine?

Below is a list of guidelines that explains who should get the chickenpox vaccine:
  • All children between 12 and 18 months of age should have one dose of the vaccine.
  • Children who have had chickenpox do not need the vaccine. No tests need to be administered to determine immune status -- a parent's recollection of the disease is considered a reliable measure of previous infection and therefore immunity.
  • Children between 19 months and 13 years old, who have not had chickenpox, should be vaccinated with a single dose.
  • People 13 and older who have not had chickenpox should get two doses of the vaccine 4 to 8 weeks apart.
Chickenpox vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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