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Wellness Center

Chicken pox vaccine

11/02/2007

Question:

We had our chicken pox vaccination in May 2007. They asked us to take the second set of vaccines 2 months later. Why do we have to take the chicken pox vaccines over 2 sessions? Does this mean only if we take our 2nd set of shots the vaccination is complete? We are going on a trip to India next month so I just wanted to know if we have to take the second vaccine in order for us to be safe. Please advise.

Answer:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization and Prophylaxis (ACIP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommend a booster dose of the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine. Over several decades of experience with the vaccine, immunity to chicken pox disease has been found to decrease significantly in a number of teens and young adults who received the vaccine as young children. This has made it easy for them to get chicken pox during the years when it makes a person sicker.

Your doctor is doing the right thing by advising you to get the best protection against illness with the chicken pox virus by receiving two doses of the vaccine at least 2 months apart.

Have a wonderful trip and stay healthy.

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Response by:

Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University