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Notice to Readers Establishment of VARIVAX{Registered} Pregnancy Registry

VARIVAX{Registered} * (Merck & Co., Inc. {West Point, Pennsylvania}), a live attenuated virus vaccine for preventing chickenpox, recently has been licensed for children aged greater than or equal to 12 months. Adults without a reliable history of chickenpox also can receive the vaccine. However, because no data exist about the effects of VARIVAX{Registered} on fetal development and because natural varicella infection can cause a complex of congenital anomalies (i.e., congenital varicella syndrome), the package circular states that VARIVAX{Registered} should not be administered during pregnancy and that pregnancy should be avoided for at least 3 months after vaccination.

Merck & Co., Inc., in collaboration with CDC, has established a registry to follow the outcomes of pregnancy when women are vaccinated within 3 months before pregnancy or at any time during pregnancy. Patients and health-care providers should report any vaccinations with VARIVAX{Registered} during this period to the registry, telephone (800) 986-8999; mailing address, Merck Research Labs, Worldwide Product Safety & Epidemiology, BLA-31, West Point, PA 19486. Questions regarding the registry should be directed to Dr. Jeanne Manson at this address; telephone (610) 397-7290 (collect); or fax (610) 397-2328. An annual report will be sent to health-care providers participating in the registry.

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Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.


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