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.