top of page

Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine

What is varicella (chickenpox)?

Varicella, more commonly known as chickenpox, is a highly infectious disease caused by the varicella zoster virus. It mostly affects children but can be caught at any age.

The UK Health Security Agency advises that ‘most varicella cases in children are relatively mild; however, some children will go on to develop complications, including bacterial infections such as group A streptococcus.  In rare cases it can cause a swelling of the brain, called encephalitis, an inflammation of the lungs, called pneumonitis, and stroke, which can result in hospitalisation and, in very rare cases, death.  Very young infants aged under 4 weeks are more likely to experience serious illness, as are adults. Pregnant women are particularly at risk as it can cause complications in both the mother and the foetus.’

The varicella (chickenpox) vaccine

The chickenpox vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect you or your child against chickenpox. It is given as two injections, usually in the upper arm or thigh.

The vaccine contains a small amount of the weakened (attenuated) varicella zoster virus that causes chickenpox. This isn’t enough virus to give you chickenpox but is enough for your immune system to develop a defence (antibodies) against the virus. Your immune system remembers these antibodies and can produce them again, making you resistant to the virus.

The vaccine is called Varivax and contains gelatin.  If you are allergic to gelatin or have any objections to receiving a vaccine containing gelatin, please let us know as we may be able to source an alternative vaccine.

Cost of the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine

The cost for the full course (2 doses) is £180.  This is payable in advance when you book.

Who can have the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine?

The vaccine is suitable for adults and children over the age of 12 months.

The vaccine is not suitable for anyone who is pregnant, has a weakened immune system or has received the MMR vaccine in the previous 4 weeks.


Book a varicella (chickenpox) vaccination

Please call us on 01491 313131 to book a vaccination course and we will schedule in the two appointments which will be at our clinic in Henley-on-Thames.

bottom of page