has been refreshed! Take a tour.
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)
  • Vaccine Recommendations

A healthcare worker with no history of chickenpox, and unknown serologic immunity, was exposed to a patient with zoster. She received varicella vaccine two days later. She developed a pruritic maculopapular rash 11 days after vaccination. Is the rash from the vaccine or from her zoster exposure?

The only way to determine whether the rash is caused by wild-type varicella or vaccine virus is to try to isolate virus from the rash and send it to a laboratory that is capable of differentiating wild and vaccine-type virus. This is generally not practical. Given the history, the conservative approach is to assume she has an active case of chickenpox and act according to your infection control guidelines.

Last reviewed: May 16, 2023

This page was updated on .