The varicella (chickenpox) vaccine is free and recommended for children as part of their routine immunizations. The chickenpox vaccine is given to children as a series of 2 doses. The first dose is given at 12 months of age; a second dose is given at school entry (4 to 6 years of age).
Two doses of varicella vaccine are recommended and free for anyone who has not had chickenpox disease after one year of age. People 13 years of age and older who have not had chickenpox disease (or are unsure if they have had chickenpox disease) and have not had the vaccine will need a blood test to check for antibodies against the varicella virus.
It is not necessary for those who had chickenpox or shingles at 1 year of age or older to get the vaccine.
For more information about the vaccine, who should get it, the benefits and typical side effects, read our HealthLinkBC files: