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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 pediatric surgeon's 12-month-old child received the varicella vaccine and two days later developed a varicella-like rash. The surgeon had chickenpox as a child and had a positive varicella titer several years ago. Is it okay for the surgeon to continue to see patients? Also, is the varicella virus in the rash that develops following vaccination as virulent as the wild-type virus?
ANSWER: Because the surgeon is immune, the child's rash is not a problem and there is no need for the surgeon to restrict activity. In comparing a vaccine rash to wild-type chickenpox infection, transmission is less likely with a vaccine rash and, in general, there are fewer skin lesions.
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