There are two vaccines available in BC that provide protection against varicella:
The efficacy of a single dose of varicella-containing vaccine is about 94% in children. With a second dose, efficacy is about 98%.
Children as part of the routine immunization schedule: Children are routinely provided with 2 doses of varicella vaccine with the 1st dose (varicella vaccine) given at 12 months of age and the 2nd dose (given as MMRV vaccine) at 4 to 6 years of age.
Unimmunized children, adolescents and adults: Two doses of a varicella or varicella-containing vaccine are needed for those who are susceptible to varicella.
As of June 2018, a
varicella susceptible person is one without a history of lab confirmed
varicella or herpes zoster after 12 months of age and without a history of age
appropriate varicella immunization. A self-reported history of varicella or physician diagnosed
varicella is adequate only if disease occurred before 2004.
Depending on the need for measles, mumps or rubella protection, MMRV vaccine can be used for healthy children 4 to 12 years of age; otherwise varicella vaccine should be used. For more information reagrding eligibility, guidelines for use and contraindications, please refer to the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, Varicella Vaccine and MMRV Vaccine.
For more information about the vaccine, who should get it, the benefits and typical side effects, read our HealthLinkBC files: