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Varicella Vaccine Composition, Dosage, and Administration

Information for Healthcare 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

For package inserts, see Varivax® and ProQuad®.

 

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