Chickenpox (Varicella) Vaccine

Chickenpox vaccine protects people against the varicella-zoster virus, which causes a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness, and fever. Getting vaccinated reduces the risk of chickenpox in your community and protects people who can’t be vaccinated. While no vaccine is 100 percent effective in preventing disease, the varicella vaccine is very successful. About 90 percent of people who are vaccinated are completely protected from chickenpox.

The chickenpox vaccine almost always prevents severe cases of the disease. If a vaccinated person gets chickenpox, they usually experience a mild case lasting a few days. Mild cases of chickenpox have fewer skin blisters and little or no fever.

What Is Chickenpox?

Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Symptoms include itchy skin with a blister-like rash, fever, tiredness, and a loss of appetite. The disease can affect people of any age, and severe cases of chickenpox can lead to hospitalization or death.

Read more about chickenpox and how it affects people on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Childhood Vaccine Program

The Washington State Childhood Vaccination Program provides vaccines to children 18 years of age and younger at no cost. Chickenpox vaccine is included in this program.

Vaccine Information Statement

The Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) is given to parents/guardians at the time of vaccination. It explains the benefits and risks of the specific vaccination.

  • Read the current Varicella VIS from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Chickenpox Vaccine Requirement for Schools

Chickenpox (varicella) vaccine is required for child care and school entry in the state of Washington. Learn more about school and child care immunization requirements by visiting the Department of Health’s school immunization web page.