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Reducing Your Risk of Chickenpox

Once you have chickenpox your body is better at fighting it off. You are not likely to get it a second time. However, this protection may wear off later in life.

To avoid getting chickenpox, you should:

  1. Avoid contact with people who have it.
  2. Avoid sharing personal items.
  3. Get a vaccination against the virus.

Varicella Vaccine

This vaccine will help your body fight the virus. It is given in a series of two injections. It is part of vaccination schedule for children at ages:

  • 12-15 months
  • 4-6 years

Older children or adults that did not get the vaccine can also get the shots.

If you had chickenpox as a child, the protection can wear off. Your doctor can check to see if you still have protection. You may then need a vaccine.

The vaccine can also reduce your risk of infection if given within 3 days after contact with the virus.

Immune Globulin

Some cannot receive a vaccine because of a health condition. Immune globulin (IG) may be an option for them. IG is a blood product that has antibodies to the varicella virus. This will help your body identify and kill the virus in the body.

IG may also be given soon after exposure. It is most often used for people with a high risk for severe complications. These may include:

  • Adults, including pregnant women
  • Newborns whose mothers have chickenpox
  • People who are immunosuppressed or very ill

Preventing the Spread of Chickenpox    TOP

If someone in your household gets chickenpox, you can prevent it from spreading by:

  • Keeping them away from others until all blisters have crusted over.
  • Telling others who may have been exposed that your child is sick.
  • Practice good hand-washing methods.


Chickenpox. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated June 19, 2017. Accessed March 14, 2018.
Chickenpox. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated January 2017. Accessed March 14, 2018.
Chickenpox (varicella). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated June 28, 2016. Accessed March 14, 2018.
Immunization schedules. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated February 6, 2018. Accessed March 14, 2018.
Last reviewed March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardJames P. Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 3/15/2015


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