• Varicella (Chickenpox)
  • Contraindications & Precautions

A 10-year-old girl came to our immunization clinic, and the nurse noted crusted lesions on her arms and legs. The parent said the child had had chickenpox a week earlier. The girl was not ill, so we vaccinated her. But now I wonder if her recent case of chickenpox might interfere with her immune response to vaccines.

A previous history of chickenpox disease, even recent disease, is not known to interfere with the immune response to different vaccines. To review the true contraindications and precautions to vaccination, consult the appendix of the CDC Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule (www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html).

CDC’s “General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization” also contains the table of contraindications and precautions, in addition to a useful table titled “Conditions incorrectly perceived as contraindications or precautions to vaccination (i.e., vaccines may be given under these conditions)”. Both tables are available at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/acip-recs/general-recs/contraindications.html, Tables 4-1 and 4-2.

Last reviewed: February 19, 2024

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