What are the clinical guidelines for immunization against chickenpox (varicella)?

Updated: Aug 31, 2020
  • Author: Anthony J Papadopoulos, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Clinical guidelines for immunization against chickenpox have been published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Infectious Diseases.

In 2006, the CDC reported on VariZIG for postexposure prophylaxis of varicella (provided under an investigational new drug application expanded access protocol). [34] In 2008, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) published recommendations for the administration of combination measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (MMRV) vaccine. [35] The ACIP updated the MMRV guideline in 2010. [36] Yearly updates to the ACIP recommended immunization schedule for adults include guidelines for immunization to varicella, as in 2009 [37] and 2011; adults aged 60 years or older are candidates for immunization to herpes zoster. [38]

The AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases has published recommendations for use of varicella vaccines in children, including a recommendation for a routine 2-dose varicella immunization schedule, issued in 2007 and reaffirmed in 2010. [39] Yearly AAP schedules for immunization of children and adolescents provide recommendations for the use of combined MMRV or MMR with varicella given separately. [40, 41, 42]

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