Who should be vaccinated?
  • Children aged 12 months, adolescents, and adults without evidence of immunity* should receive two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine.
    • Children aged 12 months-12 years should receive their first dose of varicella-containing vaccine routinely at age 12-15 months. The second dose is recommended routinely at aged 4-6 years, but may be given earlier as long as it has been > 3 months since the first dose.
    • Children aged 13 years and adults should receive two doses of the varicella vaccine 4 to 8 weeks apart. If > 8 weeks have lapsed after the first dose, the second dose may be given without restarting the schedule.
  • Evidence of immunity to chickenpox includes any of the following:
    • Documentation of two doses of chickenpox vaccine;
    • Laboratory evidence of immunity or laboratory confirmation of disease;
    • Born in the US before 1980 (not considered evidence of immunity for health care providers, pregnant women or immunocompromised persons);
    • History of chickenpox based on healthcare provider diagnosis or verification;
    • History of herpes zoster based on healthcare provider diagnosis or verification.
  • A second dose catch-up chickenpox vaccination is recommended for children, adolescents, and adults, who previously received only one dose. The second dose can be given any time at least 3 months after the first dose for children <13 years of age and at least 4 weeks after the first dose for persons 13 years of age.
  • Persons who have serious allergic reactions to gelatin or other components of the chickenpox vaccine, who are pregnant, who have had a recent transfusion or other blood products, who are taking drugs such as steroids long-term that may affect the immune system, or who have a condition affecting the immune system such as HIV/AIDS or any cancer, should not receive chickenpox vaccine at this time and should consult their health care provider.
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