Vaccines and Preventable Diseases:
Routine Varicella Vaccination
Information for Health Care Providers
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that healthy people who do not have evidence of immunity to varicella should get vaccinated against this disease.
Routine 2-dose vaccination
- First dose at 12 through 15 months old
- Second dose at 4 through 6 years old
Second dose catch-up vaccination
- Give ≥3 months after first dose for children <13 years of age
Adolescents and Adults (≥13 years old)
- Give 2 doses 4 to 8 weeks apart
- If it has been more than 8 weeks since the first dose, the second dose may be given without restarting the schedule
Varicella vaccination is especially important for—
- Healthcare professionals
- People who care for or are around immunocompromised people
- Child care workers
- Residents and staff in nursing homes and residential settings
- College students
- Inmates and staff of correctional institutions
- Military personnel
- Women of childbearing age who are not pregnant (women should not get pregnant for 1 month after being vaccinated.)
- Adolescents and adults living with children
- International travelers
For more information, see the ACIP recommendations for varicella vaccination.
Varicella Vaccine Recommendations
- Prevention of Varicella—Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices MMWR. 2007.
- Use of Combination Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella Vaccine: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) MMWR. 2010.
- Healthcare Personnel Vaccination Recommendations [PDF-55KB - 1 page]
- Immunization of Health-Care Personnel MMWR. 2011.
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Content last reviewed on April 5, 2012
Content Source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases