Navajo County Public Health Services
Varicella (chickenpox) is a common childhood disease which can be serious. It spreads
when germs pass from an infected person to the nose or throat of others.
Chickenpox causes a rash, itching, tiredness and fever. It can lead to pneumonia,
brain damage, or death.
A person who has had chicken pox can develop zoster (shingles) years later. Shingles
causes a painful skin rash.
Chickenpox vaccine is the best way to protect against chickenpox. About 70-90% of
people who get the vaccine are protected from chickenpox.
If vaccinated children do get chickenpox, it is usually very mild. They have fewer
spots, lower fever, and recover more quickly.
Vaccinated children who get this milder form of chicken pox can still spread the
disease to others who are not protected.
Who should get chickenpox vaccine?
Children between 12 and 18 months of age:
Most children in this age group should have one dose of chickenpox vaccine.
Children between 19 months and their 13th birthday:
All children who have not had chickenpox or gotten chickenpox vaccine should be
vaccinated before their 13th birthday. Many doctors will give the vaccine at 11
or 12 yeas of age to children in need. However, vaccine may be given any time between
19 months and 12 years. Your doctor or clinic can tell you whether your child should
be vaccinated. Children over age 13 will need a booster dose.
For more information, visit your local health department or Center for Disease Control
and Prevention, Arizona Department of Health.
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