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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.

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


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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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