Skip Navigation LinksSkip Navigation Links
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Safer Healthier People
Blue White
Blue White
bottom curve
CDC Home Search Health Topics A-Z spacer spacer
Blue curve MMWR spacer

Persons using assistive technology might not be able to fully access information in this file. For assistance, please send e-mail to: Type 508 Accommodation and the title of the report in the subject line of e-mail.

Notice to Readers: Resumption of Routine Schedule for Varicella Vaccine

Supplies of varicella vaccine (VARIVAX®) in the United States have become sufficient to permit the resumption of the routine schedule as recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) (1--3). Childcare and school attendance provisions requiring children to receive the varicella vaccine should be reinstituted.

A temporary shortage of varicella vaccine in the United States resulted from a voluntary interruption of manufacturing operations by Merck & Co., Inc., the only U.S. manufacturer of varicella vaccine (4). During the vaccine shortage, ACIP recommended the delay of the routine childhood varicella vaccine dose from age 12--18 months until age 18--24 months (1,2) and made additional recommendations for prioritizing use in the event of a persistent shortage (4).

Health-care providers should review the vaccination status of their patients and administer varicella vaccine as appropriate. Recall programs for deferred unvaccinated persons should be instituted. CDC will continue to monitor vaccine supply. Updates about vaccine supply and shortages are available at


  1. CDC. Prevention of varicella: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR 1996;45 (No. RR-11).
  2. CDC. Prevention of varicella: updated recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR 1999;48(No. RR-6).
  3. CDC. Recommended childhood immunization schedule---United States, 2002. MMWR 2002;51:31--3.
  4. CDC. Shortage of varicella and measles, mumps and rubella vaccines and interim recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. MMWR 2002;51:190--1.

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

Disclaimer   All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from ASCII text into HTML. This conversion may have resulted in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users should not rely on this HTML document, but are referred to the electronic PDF version and/or the original MMWR paper copy for the official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to

Page converted: 8/1/2002


Safer, Healthier People

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd, MailStop E-90, Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A


Department of Health
and Human Services

This page last reviewed 8/1/2002