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Varivax Side Effects

Although most people respond well to the vaccine, side effects are possible with Varivax. Fever, injection site reactions, and a chickenpox-like rash are the most common side effects that have been reported. Some side effects, while rare, are potentially serious and should be reported to a healthcare provider immediately, including unusual bruising, a high fever, or pneumonia.

An Introduction to Varivax Side Effects

As with all vaccines, side effects are possible with Varivax® (varicella vaccine). However, not everyone who receives the vaccine will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Varivax. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Varivax side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of Varivax

Varivax has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials, in which all possible side effects were monitored and recorded. In these studies, the most common side effects included:
  • Injection site reactions (such as redness, pain, or swelling) -- in up to 32.5 percent of people
  • Fever -- up to 14.7 percent
  • A chickenpox-like rash -- up to 5.5 percent.
Other common side effects (occurring in at least 1 percent of people, although the exact percentages were not reported) included, but were not limited to:
  • Upper respiratory illness (such as the common cold)
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Muscle pain
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Nausea
  • A general ill feeling
  • Diarrhea
  • Stiff neck
  • Irritability or nervousness
  • Swollen, tender lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Cold sores or canker sores.
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Varivax Vaccine Information

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