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Experts from the CDC Answer Questions About Vaccines

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From the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at CDC, introducing
Medical Officer Andrew T. Kroger, MD, MPH
Nurse Educator Donna L. Weaver, RN, MN
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QUESTION: A one-month-old infant was exposed for the last 6 days to chickenpox. What should be done to protect the exposed infant, who is too young to vaccinate and past the time for varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) administration (96 hours)?
ANSWER: There is no evidence that healthy full-term infants born to women in whom varicella occurs more than 48 hours after delivery are at increased risk for serious complications such as pneumonia or death. VZIG (VariZIG, Emergent) can be given up to 10 days after exposure but is only recommended for newborn infants whose mothers have signs and symptoms of varicella around the time of delivery (5 days before to 2 days after), hospitalized premature infants born at 28 or more weeks of gestation whose mothers do not have evidence of immunity to varicella, or hospitalized premature infants born at less than 28 weeks of gestation or who weigh 1,000 grams or less at birth regardless of their mothers' evidence of immunity to varicella. Assuming this is an infant discharged from the hospital at home, VZIG would not be recommended. Varicella, if it develops, would be managed as for any child.
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