Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Herpes Varicella Vaccine

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:

Continue to Herpes Varicella Outlook

Last Updated: Mar 8, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Herpes Varicella References
  1. Arvin AM. Antiviral therapy for varicella and herpes zoster. Semin Pediatr Infect Dis. 2002 Jan;13(1):12-21. [12118839]
  2. Hambleton S. Chickenpox. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2005 Jun;18(3):235-40. [15864101]
  3. Harris D, Redhead J. Should acyclovir be prescribed for immunocompetent children presenting with chickenpox? Arch Dis Child. 2005 Jun;90(6):648-50. [15908639]
  4. Swingler G. Chickenpox. Clin Evid. 2004 Dec;(12):1050-7. [15865701]
  5. Vazquez M. Varicella infections and varicella vaccine in the 21st century. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2004 Sep;23(9):871-2. [15361729]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.