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Chicken Pox (Varicella)

Varicella (chickenpox) is a highly infectious disease that typically causes a widespread rash (which commonly results in scarring) and often the person can have symptoms including feeling generally unwell and a fever. Symptoms are usually mild in young children but the likelihood of more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, increases with age. Infection during pregnancy has risks for the mother and the unborn child.

The Vaccine

Who can have this 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.

Doses required

2 doses

The second dose should be 4-8 weeks after the first.


£90 per dose

How is it given?

This is an injection in the upper arm (or thigh).

How long does protection last?


Other information

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.

Up to 10% of adults and 5% of children develop a vaccine associated rash either at the site of the injection or over the body within one month of immunisation. You may also have pain and redness at the site of the injection or a mild fever within the next three days.

Patient Leaflet

Please refer to the patient leaflet for full information on this vaccine:

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