Varicella Vaccine Effectiveness

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Vaccine News

Children 12 months of age and older were recommended to receive one dose of the varicella vaccine when it became available in 1995. In 2006, a second dose recommendation was added for children between 4 and 6 years of age. In May 2013, a study published in the journal, Pediatrics, assessed the long-term effectiveness of the varicella vaccine. Here’s what you should know:

  • The study included more than 7,000 children vaccinated from 1995 to 2009. Rates of chickenpox and shingles infections were compared to the pre-vaccine era.
  • Chickenpox cases decreased about 10-fold compared to the period before the vaccine became available.
  • Immunity did not appear to wane over time.
  • Most cases of chickenpox occurred shortly after vaccination and were mild. No cases occurred in children who had two doses of the vaccine.
  • Cases of shingles also decreased in the vaccinated population.


Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.