Summary of Recommendations for Varicella Vaccination
PERSONS LESS THAN 13 YEARS OF AGE
Persons of this age group should receive one 0.5-mL dose of
Children who have not been vaccinated previously and who lack a
reliable history of varicella infection are considered
12-18 Months of Age
All children should be routinely vaccinated at 12-18 months of
age. Varicella virus vaccine may be administered to all children
this age regardless of prior history of varicella; however,
vaccination is not necessary for children who have reliable
histories of varicella.
19 Months-12 Years of Age
Varicella vaccine is recommended for immunization of all
susceptible children by the 13th birthday.
Varicella virus vaccine should be administered to susceptible
children during the routine immunization visit at 11-12 years of
age but may be administered at any time during childhood.
PERSONS GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO 13 YEARS OF AGE
Persons in this age group should be administered two 0.5-mL
doses of vaccine, subcutaneously, 4-8 weeks apart.
Vaccination is recommended for susceptible persons who have
close contact with persons at high risk for serious
(e.g., health-care workers and family contacts of
Vaccination should be considered for susceptible persons in the
following groups who are at high risk for exposure:
Persons who live or work in environments in which
of VZV is likely (e.g., teachers of young children, day-care
employees, and residents and staff in institutional
Persons who live or work in environments in which varicella
transmission can occur (e.g., college students, inmates and
of correctional institutions, and military personnel).
Nonpregnant women of childbearing age. Vaccination of women
are not pregnant -- but who may become pregnant in the future
will reduce the risk for VZV transmission to the fetus.
Varicella immunity may be ascertained at any routine
health-care visit or in any setting in which vaccination
may be reviewed (e.g., upon college entry). Women should be
asked if they are pregnant and advised to avoid pregnancy for
month following each dose of vaccine.
International travelers. Vaccination should be considered for
international travelers who do not have evidence of immunity
to VZV (e.g., serologic tests), especially if the traveler
expects to have close personal contact with local
because varicella is endemic in most countries.
Vaccination of other susceptible adolescents and adults is
desirable and may be offered during routine health-care visits.
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