Chickenpox vaccine

Chickenpox vaccine

The chickenpox vaccine gives about 98% protection in children and about 75% protection in teenagers and adults against chickenpox infection.  For those who are vaccinated but still get chickenpox, the symptoms will generally be milder.

Vaccination policies vary worldwide, ‪chickenpox‬ vaccine is not part of the NHS routine immunisation schedule, but it is in Germany, Australia, USA and Canada.

If you have not had chickenpox and are exposed to someone with this disease or shingles, the chickenpox vaccine can be given up to 5 days (ideally within 3 days) after exposure to prevent the disease or making it less serious.  This can also protect you from chickenpox if you are exposed again in the future.

Why not let my child get chickenpox naturally and build natural immunity?

1) Chickenpox can be a mild disease, but it isn’t always. There’s no way to know who will have a mild case and who will become very sick. When your child gets his or her chickenpox vaccine, he or she is getting immunity from chickenpox without the risk of serious complications of the disease.

2) Prevents your child from feeling itchy and uncomfortable from chickenpox

3) Keeps your child from missing school or childcare (and keeps you from missing work to care for your sick child).

Dosage and schedules

This vaccine can be given to both adults and childern from the age of 9 months (used to be from 12 months of age prior to Sep 2017).

Children 9 months up to and including 12 years

Two doses should be given to ensure optimal protection against varicella.

– Children from 9 to 12 months of age

The second dose should be given after a minimum interval of 3 months.

– Children from 12 months to 12 years of age

The second dose should be given after an interval of at least 6 weeks but in no circumstances less than 4 weeks.

This vaccine should not be administered to children aged less than 9 months.

Adolescents and adults from 13 years of age and above

Two doses. It is preferable to administer the second dose at least 6 weeks after the first dose but in no circumstances less than 4 weeks.

Chickenpox vaccine may be given at the same time or at any time before or after other vaccines. However, if chickenpox and MMR vaccines are not administered on the same day, then a ONE month minimum interval period should be observed.

Is the chickenpox shot safe?

Yes, chickenpox vaccine is well tolerated. Extensive data shows the most commonly reported reactions are at the injection site (pain, redness and rash). Generalised symptoms, such as fever and rash, can also occur but less frequently.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

Women who are pregnant should NOT receive the chickenpox vaccine and pregnancy should be avoided for one month following the last dose.

Studies have shown that the vaccine virus is not transferred to the infant through breast milk and therefore breast-feeding women can be vaccinated if indicated.

Availability of chickenpox vaccine on NHS

The chickenpox vaccine is currently only offered on the NHS to people who are in close contact with someone who is particularly vulnerable to chickenpox or its complications.

References and futher information:

  1. Chickenpox vaccine’s (last updated in 18-Sep-2017) package leaflet: Information for the user
  2. USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Chickenpox (Varicella) Vaccination
  3. Oxford Vaccine Group: Chickenpox (Varicella) Vaccine

We provide the chickenpox vaccination for individuals from 9 months of age (children & adults).

Cost: £70 per dose inclusive (i.e. there is no consultation fees); the full course requires two doses. 

To book an appointment call: 020 7435 7075

For more information email:

The success of the U.S. chickenpox vaccination programme