Vaccination

Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It can cause an itchy, blister-like rash.

Two doses of the chickenpox vaccine is more than 90% effective at preventing chickenpox. When you get vaccinated, you protect yourself and others in your family and community. This protection is especially important for people who cannot get vaccinated, such as those with weakened immune systems, or pregnant women.

Some people who are vaccinated against chickenpox may still get the disease. However, the symptoms are usually milder with fewer or no blisters (they may have just red spots) and mild or no fever. The risk of getting chickenpox after two doses of chickenpox vaccine is lower than after only one dose of chickenpox vaccine. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have questions about chickenpox vaccine.

Smiling girl examined by doctor

CDC recommends two doses of chickenpox vaccine for children, adolescents, and adults who have never had chickenpox and were never vaccinated. Children are routinely recommended to receive the first dose at 12 through 15 months old and a second dose at 4 through 6 years old.

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