Chickenpox Varicella (Varivax) Vaccine Type | Usage | Precautions

Chickenpox Varicella (Varivax) Vaccine Type | Usage | Precautions

  • Chickenpox (Varicella) is caused by Varicella-Zoster Virus (VZV), a DNA virus of the Herpesviridae family.
  • It is a highly contagious infection which affects children as well as adults.

Vaccine Type

  • Live – attenuated vaccine.

Available as

  • Varicella (Varivax): single antigen Varicella vaccine.
  • MMRV: combination of Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella vaccines.
    (The following discussion is about single antigen Varicella vaccine, for MMRV see Measles Vaccines).


  • MMR Single dose 85% effective.
  • Two doses about 88-98% effective.
  • Vaccinated people can get Chickenpox but the disease is usually milder and short-lived.


  • Children: Children aged 12 months – 12 years should
    be vaccinated against chickenpox with either Varicella vaccine or
    MMRV. Varicella vaccine: 2 doses given subcutaneously at least 3 months apart.
  • Adults: Persons above 13 years age who are unvaccinated
    and who had never had chickenpox should receive two doses of varicella
    vaccine, given at least 28 days apart.
  • Pregnant women:
    Vaccine should not be used in pregnant women. Women should wait at least
    28 days after vaccination before getting pregnant.


Should not be used in:

  • Patients who had severe allergic reaction to previous dose of the vaccine, Neomycin, Gelatin, or any other component of the vaccine.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Patients having leukemia/lymphoma, blood dyscrasias, and thrombocytopenia.
  • Patients with family history of congenital immunodeficiency disease (unless they are immunocompetent) or receiving high-dose immunosuppressant therapy (including steroids).
  • Patient who had blood/blood products transfusion during the past 11 months.
  • Acutely ill patients may not be vaccinated until they have recovered.Salicylates (Aspirin) should be avoided for 6 weeks after getting the vaccine because of the potential risk of Reye Syndrome.