Summary of Recommendations for Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccination - 2007

"Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (AICP) – Varicella Working Group"

Recommendations for Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccination

Routine Childhood Schedule
  • Routine childhood vaccination should be 2 doses.
  • Preschool-aged children should receive the first dose of varicella vaccine at age 12--15 months.
  • School-aged children should receive the second dose at age 4--6 years (may be administered earlier provided >3 months have elapsed after the first dose)
Persons Aged >13 Years
  • Persons aged >13 years should receive 2 doses of vaccine, doses (4--8 weeks apart).
  • All adolescents and adults without evidence of immunity should be vaccinated.
  • Because of their increased risk for transmission to persons at high risk for severe disease or their increased risk of exposure, vaccination is especially important for persons without evidence of immunity in the following groups:
    • persons who have close contact with persons at high risk for serious complications (e.g., health-care personnel and household contacts of immunocompromised persons);
    • persons who live or work in environments in which transmission of varicella zoster virus is likely (e.g., teachers, child-care workers, and residents and staff in institutional settings);
    • persons who live and work in environments in which transmission has been reported (e.g., college students, inmates and staff members of correctional institutions, military personnel);
    • nonpregnant women of childbearing age;
    • adolescents and adults living in households with children; and
    • international travelers.
Prenatal Assessment and Postpartum Vaccination

Prenatal assessment of women for evidence of varicella immunity is recommended. Upon completion or termination of pregnancy, women who do not have evidence of varicella immunity should be vaccinated.

Vaccination of HIV-Infected Persons

Vaccination should be considered for HIV-infected children with age-specific CD4+ T-lymphocyte percentage >15% and may be considered for adolescents and adults in with CD4+ T-lymphocyte count >200 cells/µL.

Outbreak Control

2-dose vaccination policy

Postexposure Prophylaxis

Recommended within 3--5 days

Requirements for Entry to Child Care, School, College, and Other Postsecondary Educational Institutions

All states should require that students at all grade levels (including college) and those in child care centers receive varicella vaccine unless they have other evidence of immunity of varicella.