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by EBSCO Medical Review Board

Reducing Your Risk of Chickenpox

These steps may lower a person's risk of getting chickenpox:
  • Stay away from people who have chickenpox.
  • Get the chickenpox vaccine.

Chickenpox Vaccine

The chickenpox vaccine is a series of 2 shots. It is often given to children at ages:
  • 12-15 months
  • 4-6 years
This may also be given to adults. It may be needed for those who never had chickenpox and were never vaccinated.
It may also be given within 3 to 5 days of being exposed to someone with chickenpox. It may be needed for those who never had chickenpox and were never vaccinated.

Immune Globulin

This is a blood product that has antibodies to the chickenpox virus. It may be given within 96 hours to a person who has been exposed to chickenpox who:
  • Has a weakened immune system
  • Is pregnant
  • Was born to a mother who has chickenpox


Chickenpox. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chickenpox. Accessed September 8, 2020.
Chickenpox. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/chickenpox.html. Accessed September 8, 2020.
Chickenpox (varicella). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/chickenpox. Accessed September 8, 2020.
Gershon AA, Breuer J, et al. Varicella zoster virus infection. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2015 Jul 2;1:15016.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Shawna Grubb, RN
  • Review Date: 03/2020
  • Update Date: 03/23/2021