Vaccines and Preventable Diseases:
Getting Vaccinated After You Are Exposed to Chickenpox
If you do not have immunity against chickenpox and are exposed to someone with this disease or shingles, talk with your doctor about getting chickenpox vaccine.
You should get chickenpox vaccine within 3 to 5 days of being exposed.
You need 2 doses of vaccine are two different times. For more information, see Who Needs Chickenpox Vaccine.
If you previously got one dose of chickenpox vaccine, you should get a second dose.
Getting vaccinated after you are exposed to someone with chickenpox can—
- prevent the disease or make it less serious
- protect you from chickenpox if you are exposed again in the future
A doctor can prescribe a medicine to make chickenpox less severe. This is especially important for people who are exposed to chickenpox and do not have immunity against the disease and are not eligible for vaccination.
For more information, see Managing Persons at Risk for Severe Chickenpox (Varicella).
Also, see information about Who Should Not Get Chickenpox Vaccine.
- Types of Chickenpox Vaccine
- Possible Side Effects from Chickenpox Vaccine
- Immunity Against (Protection From) Chickenpox
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Content last reviewed on April 5, 2012
Content Source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases