Understanding Chickenpox -- Prevention

How Can I Prevent Chickenpox?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be immunized with the varicella zoster vaccine to prevent chicken pox usually after the age of 1. A second dose, typically given at about age 4 or 5, is needed for complete protection.

The vaccine is also a protection to vulnerable people, such as non-immune women who plan to become pregnant. Some, such as those who are already pregnant, are not eligible to receive the chickenpox vaccine. Consult your doctor for advice.

A similar vaccine -- but in a higher dose -- is also available for the elderly who already had chickenpox to prevent painful outbreaks of shingles. Those over 65 can consult their doctors to see if this higher dose vaccine may help them.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on March 19, 2017

Sources

SOURCES: 

World Health organization.  

March of Dimes.  

Centers for Disease Control. 

Cohen & Powderly: Infectious Diseases, Elsevier, 2004 2nd ed.

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