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.
- Live – attenuated vaccine.
- 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.