Vaccines and Preventable Diseases:
Possible Side Effects of Chickenpox Vaccine
Getting chickenpox vaccine is much safer than getting the disease. Most people who get the vaccine do not have any problems with it. But, as with any vaccine, there is a very small chance of having a side effect. Serious side effects to the chickenpox vaccine are very rare. They are usually more likely to occur after the first dose than after the second one.
Possible reactions include:
- Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
- Mild rash or several small bumps after vaccination. If you get chickenpox rash after vaccination, you can spread the disease to others. But, this is very rare. If you have chickenpox rash, you should stay away from people with weakened immune systems.
- Seizure (jerking and staring spell) that may be caused by fever. Seizures after chickenpox vaccination may or may not be related to chickenpox vaccine.
Serious side effects from chickenpox vaccine are extremely rare. They may include severe brain reactions and low blood count. These side effects happen so rarely that experts cannot tell whether they are caused by chickenpox vaccine or not.
Possible reactions after ProQuad® (or MMRV) vaccination
Children who get the first dose of ProQuad® vaccine at 12 to 23 months old may have a higher chance of a seizure caused by fever. This is in comparison to children who get the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the chickenpox vaccine separately during a doctor visit. But, these seizures are not common. They may be scary for parents, but they are not harmful to children. Talk with a doctor if you have questions.
For more information, see
- Factsheet: Two Options for Protecting Your Child Against Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella
- Q&As About the Options for Protecting Your Child Against Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella
- CDC Vaccine Safety Website: Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella (MMRV) Vaccine
Aspirin use and possible reactions after vaccination
You should not take aspirin products for 6 weeks after getting chickenpox vaccine. This is because of the association between aspirin use and Reye syndrome (a potentially fatal disease that affects the brain) following chickenpox.
If you develop a serious side effects after getting chickenpox vaccine—
- Call your doctor immediately
- Write down what happened and the date and time it happened
- Contact the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at 1-800-822-7967 to report the side effect. This may also be done by your doctor or state health department.
For more information about reporting vaccine adverse events, visit the VAERS Web site.
- Who Needs Chickenpox Vaccine
- Who Should Not Get Chickenpox Vaccine
- Immunity Against (Protection from) Chickenpox
- Types of Chickenpox Vaccine
- Questions about Multiple Vaccinations and the Immune System
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Content last reviewed on April 5, 2012
Content Source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases