Chickenpox is a highly contagious airborne disease which spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. Infection is most common in childhood; however, adults can get it too and usually it’s more severe. Almost all children develop immunity for chickenpox after having it, so most of the time you will catch it once, however, there are cases when people get it a second time later in their life. Chickenpox can be very serious for people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women. It can cause a range of serious birth defects, as well as severe disease in the baby when it is born. Additionally, the varicella virus can also cause shingles where the elderly are more at risk.
The Varicella vaccine protects against the Varicella Zoster virus that causes chickenpox. There are 2 types of Chickenpox vaccines Varivax and Varilrix. It is a live vaccine with a small amount of weakened Varicella Zoster virus. The vaccine is given as 2 separate injections, 4 to 8 weeks apart. It can be given to children and adults between 1 and 65 years old. It’s shown that children develop a better immune response, but more than three quarters of teenagers and adults become immune to Chickenpox after vaccination.
To book your Varicella vaccine, simply use the dropdown below to select a location and choose your appointment time. Please mention “Varicella vaccine” in the notes when making your booking. Please note we are not offering vaccinations at any other clinics.
Who can get the Varicella vaccine?
The Varicella vaccine is not part of the NHS routine vaccination program but is offered for a small group of patients. It is recommended for certain individuals, such as non-immune healthcare workers and people who come into close contact with anyone who has a weakened immune system.
How many doses do you need?
You need two doses of the Varicella vaccine. Please note, you should book each dose separately.
What is the interval between doses?
Each dose should be at least 6 weeks apart.
Who should not get the Varicella vaccine?
- You should not get a chickenpox vaccine if you have immunity against the infection. This can be checked via a simple blood test looking for Varicella Zoster IgG antibodies.
- Children under 1 year should not get the Varicella vaccine
- Anybody with a history of anaphylaxis or severe allergy to any ingredients in the vaccination
- You should not get other live vaccines 1 month on either side of the chickenpox vaccine but can get it on the same day in a different site
- You should also not get the Varicella vaccine if you are allergic to vaccinations or have received a live vaccine in the last month
Can someone get the HPV vaccine while pregnant or breastfeeding?
The Varicella vaccine should be considered before pregnancy. The vaccine can be given to breastfeeding mothers.
Are there any common side effects when getting the Varicella vaccine?
Soreness or redness at the site of injection. Mild rash and cold symptoms.
What does the Varicella vaccine cost?
£85 per dose.
Medically reviewed by: Dr Preethi Daniel, GP and Clinical Director at London Doctors Clinic
Reviewed: August 2021
Next review date: August 2022