Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Children's Health Chicken Pox

The chickenpox vaccine, marketed under the trade name Varivax, was approved by the FDA for use in 1995. Most people who receive this vaccine will not get chickenpox.

Those who have had a serious allergic reaction to gelatin or neomycin should not receive this vaccine.


  • This vaccine is given in one dose to infants, usually at the same time as the MMR. It may however, be given anywhere from 12 months of age to 18 months of age.
  • Varivax is given in two divided doses to children (and adults) over 12 years. Adolescents and adults 13 years of age and older should receive a 0.5 ml dose administered subcutaneously at elected date and a second 0.5 ml dose 4 to 8 weeks later.

Side Effects
Mild problems:

Moderate problems:
  • Seizure, usually caused by fever (less than 1 out of 1,000)

Serious problems:

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