Chickenpox Vaccine (Varicella) -Live


Chickenpox is a highly infectious disease caused after becoming infected by the Varicella Zoster Virus. Whilst is causes misery in children, it is more significant in adults. It can lead to pneumonia, bacterial skin infections and rarely but significantly inflammation of the brain. It is passed by spreading through the air but can also be passed by touching and contact with the lesions which have a classical appearance. Those with Chickenpox should be kept away from school / work until the lesions have scabbed. This is normally 5 days after the last set of lesions appear. Affected individuals should also not fly/ travel until they have been cleared to do so by medically qualified staff.   This vaccine gives protection of up to 98% in children against chickenpox. Slightly less in adults. Rarely those who have been vaccinated like those who have had the natural disease can get chickenpox in general the disease is usually milder.  
Classical Chickenpox rash ©NHS

How many doses are needed?

In the UK the Varilrix vaccine is licensed to be given to adults and children over the age of  9 months old. Two doses are given, at 8 weeks apart.