Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Vaccines Health Center

Font Size

Vaccine Chokes Chickenpox


"Even routine cases [of chickenpox] are pretty unpleasant," Shapiro says. "It's not fun to have chickenpox for a week; and from a cost-benefit standpoint, parents often have to stay home from work to care for the sick child."

The vaccine also prevents complications down the road. "One of the complications of chickenpox is zoster ... [also called] shingles. All of the evidence suggests people [vaccinated against chickenpox] have a lower incidence of zoster. Shingles is a result of a previous infection, so having chickenpox in the past makes it more likely to get zoster."

In fact, the chickenpox vaccine, also known as the varicella vaccine, is being tested in older adults who previously had chickenpox but want to avoid getting shingles, which usually infects older people who have weaker immune systems, Shapiro says. The vaccine may be able to boost immunity enough to ward off a zoster infection.

Ann M. Arvin, MD, of the Stanford University School of Medicine, supports the Yale team's research. In a letter accompanying the study, she writes that while U.S. doctors are just becoming familiar with the chickenpox vaccine, favorable clinical results seen so far indicate that the virus that causes chickenpox eventually could be wiped out. If that happens, it would mark the first time humans will have beaten this type of virus, a herpesvirus.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Baby getting vaccinated
Is there a link? Get the facts.
syringes and graph illustration
Get a customized vaccine schedule.
baby getting a vaccine
Know the benefits and the risk
nurse holding syringe in front of girl
Should your child have it?

What To Know About The HPV Vaccine
24 Kid Illnesses Parents Should Know
Nausea and Vomiting Remedies Slideshow
Managing Immunization Schedules For Kids

Doctor administering vaccine to toddler
gloved hand holding syringe
infant receiving injection

WebMD Special Sections