Chickenpox used to be a common infection in the United States. For example, in the 1990s, about
Today, only about 500,000 people in the U.S. get chickenpox each year. To keep these numbers low, the
Varicella-zoster is the virus that causes chickenpox. Chickenpox is a contagious infection that causes an itchy rash, fever, and fatigue. The chicken pox vaccine is also called the varicella vaccine. It can help prevent chicken pox.
Two doses of the vaccine can typically be effective at preventing chickenpox. The
However, the above ages are not the only times you can receive the vaccine. Experts encourage almost anyone who hasn’t received the vaccine or who hasn’t had chickenpox to get the vaccine.
Experts especially encourage adults to get the chickenpox vaccine if they:
- work in healthcare or the military
- live or work with children, in a correctional facility, or in a group home or group living situation
- may become pregnant
- plan to do extensive international travel
Varicella vaccine schedule for adults
Almost anyone more than 13 years old can get two doses of the varicella vaccine. Doctors need to give these doses at least
How long is the varicella vaccination good for?
Two doses of the varicella vaccine usually give lifetime protection. There is currently no recommendation for a varicella booster.
Is the varicella vaccine mandatory?
Federal law does not require the varicella vaccine. However, in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia, state laws require children to have a round of vaccinations before they can attend school or a child care program.
As of the 2021 school year, all states require at least one dose of the varicella vaccine. A total of 45 states require both doses.
The varicella vaccine is usually extremely effective. The CDC reports that more than
Does the varicella vaccine protect against monkeypox?
The varicella vaccine does not protect against monkeypox. A different virus causes monkeypox, so you’ll need a different vaccine to teach your body to clear it.
If you think you experienced monkeypox exposure or that you are at high risk for monkeypox, there are vaccines available in health centers across the country. The
The varicella vaccine is usually safe. However, all vaccines can have side effects. Side effects of the varicella vaccine are typically mild and generally resolve on their own within a day or two.
- redness or discoloration
Very rarely, more serious effects do occur. These side effects can be symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. It’s important to get urgent medical care if you or your child experiences any of these side effects:
Health insurance providers almost always cover vaccines. If you don’t have health insurance, there are still ways to get the varicella vaccine at low or no cost.
For instance, the
You can also use a pharmacy discount program to get a varicella vaccine for around $150 without insurance.
The varicella vaccine typically protects against chickenpox. The vaccine is usually effective at preventing chickenpox for more than 90% of people who receive it.
The CDC recommends that children receive their first dose of the vaccine between 12 and 15 months old and a second dose between 4 and 6 years old. Many people more than 13 years old can receive the vaccine at any time. Doctors will typically give two doses, at least 28 days apart.
Protection from the vaccine is lifelong, and experts do not usually recommend boosters. You can get coverage for the varicella vaccine with many insurance plans.