Varicella vaccine

Routine vaccination:
  • Minimum age: 12 months
  • Administer the first dose at age 15 through 18 months and the second dose at age 4 through 6 years.
  • The second dose may be administered before age 4 years, provided at least 3 months have elapsed since the first dose. If the second dose was administered at least 4 weeks after the first dose, it can be accepted as valid.
  • The risk of breakthrough varicella is lower if given 15 months onwards.
Catch-up vaccination:
  • Ensure that all persons aged 7 through 18 years without 'evidence of immunity' have 2 doses of the vaccine.
  • For children aged 12 months through 12 years, the recommended minimum interval between doses is 3 months. However, if the second dose was administered at least 4 weeks after the first dose, it can be accepted as valid.
  • For persons aged 13 years and older, the minimum interval between doses is 4 weeks.
  • For persons without evidence of immunity, administer 2 doses if not previously vaccinated or the second dose if only 1 dose has been administered.
  • 'Evidence of immunity' to varicella includes any of the following:
    • documentation of age-appropriate vaccination with a varicella vaccine
    • laboratory evidence of immunity or laboratory confirmation of disease
    • diagnosis or verification of a history of varicella disease by a health-care provider
    • diagnosis or verification of a history of herpes zoster by a health-care provider