Vaccines to Prevent Chickenpox
Vaccine BasicsGetting vaccinated is the best way to prevent chickenpox. Currently, two doses of vaccine are recommended for children, adolescents, and adults.
While no vaccine is 100% effective in preventing disease, the chickenpox vaccine is very effective: about 8 to 9 out of every 10 people who are vaccinated are completely protected from chickenpox. In addition, the vaccine almost always prevents severe disease. If a vaccinated person does get chickenpox, it is usually a very mild case lasting only a few days and involving fewer skin blisters (usually less than 50), mild or no fever, and few other symptoms.
For Infants and Children
Getting chickenpox vaccine is much safer than getting chickenpox disease. Most people who get chickenpox vaccine do not have any problems with it. Learn more about possible side effects of chickenpox vaccines.
- Children who have never had chickenpox should get 2 doses of the chickenpox vaccine at these ages:
- 1st Dose: 12-15 months of age
- 2nd Dose: 4-6 years of age (may be given earlier, if at least 3 months after the 1st dose)
- People 13 years of age and older (who have never had chickenpox or received chickenpox vaccine) should get two doses at least 28 days apart.
For AdultsAnyone born during or after 1980 who has not had chickenpox or been vaccinated is at risk and should get 2 doses of the chickenpox vaccine. (The combination MMRV vaccine is not licensed for those over 12 years old.)
However, pregnant women should wait to get the chickenpox vaccine until after they have given birth. Women should not get pregnant for 1 month after getting the chickenpox vaccine.