Vaccines and Preventable Diseases:
Varicella Vaccine Composition, Dosage, and Administration
Information for Health Care Providers
Two vaccines containing varicella virus are licensed for use in the United States.
- Varivax® is the single-antigen varicella vaccine.
- ProQuad® is a combination measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (MMRV) vaccine.
Note: ProQuad® is not currently available. For more information, see Merck’s Web site on vaccine supply.
Both vaccines contain live, attenuated varicella-zoster virus derived from the Oka strain.
Children 12 months through 12 years old
- 2 doses (0.5 ml each) of varicella vaccine should be given subcutaneously, separated by at least 3 months
- MMRV vaccine is approved for healthy children in this age group
Single-antigen vaccine and MMWR vaccine can be used for the routine 2-dose varicella vaccination.
- First dose: 12 through 15 months
- Second dose: 4 through 6 years.
For the first dose, CDC recommends that MMR and varicella vaccines be given separately in children 12 through 15 months old unless the parent or caregiver expresses a preference for MMRV vaccine.
Both vaccines may be given at the same time as other vaccines for children 12 through 15 months and 4 through 6 years old.
People 13 years or older
- 2 doses (0.5 ml each) of the single-antigen varicella vaccine subcutaneously 4 to 8 weeks apart
- MMRV vaccine is not approved for people in this age group
- Vaccination Options for Preventing Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella
- MMR & Varicella Vaccines or MMRV Vaccine: Discussing Options with Parents
- Q&As About Vaccination Options for Preventing Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella
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Content last reviewed on April 5, 2012
Content Source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases