Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Menu

Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Varicella, Varivax, Varilrix Adult, Children

Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine - What is it for

​Varicella vaccines help to prevent chickenpox, which is a highly infectious disease caused by the Varicella-Zoster Virus (VZV).
Chickenpox spreads from one person to another through direct contact or via droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also spread indirectly through objects freshly contaminated by droplets or fluid from the blisters of an infected person.
Common symptoms of chickenpox include a fever, with red itchy spots on the body and face. The spots appear over a few days, become fluid-filled blisters and form crusts before healing.

As part of the Singapore National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS), all children should receive two doses from age 12 months onwards, at least 3 months apart.
As part of the Singapore National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS), adults (18 years or older) who have not been previously vaccinated, or lack evidence of past infection or immunity should receive 2 doses (1st dose, followed by 2nd dose within four to eight weeks of 1st dose).

Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine cause?

Common side effects include:

  • Some people may feel faint after the vaccination
    • Sit for 15 minutes to avoid fainting
  • Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
    • You may place a cold compress over the affected area for relief
    • You may take paracetamol for pain relief
  • Fever
    • You may take paracetamol to treat the fever

Please see a doctor if these side effects do not get better or become worse.

Rare but serious side effects include:

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body


If you experience any of these symptoms, you should inform your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine, what precautions must I follow?

​Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this vaccine or any of the other ingredients of this vaccine, including neomycin antibiotic
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • You are taking any other medications
  • You are currently not feeling well and having a fever
  • You have a weak immune system due to an illness such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection or cancer
  • You are currently on treatment or on medications that may weaken your immune system (e.g. high dose steroids)
  • You had recently taken any other vaccine
  • You have recently received a blood transfusion

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine?

Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine - Dosage and How to Use

How should Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine be used?

​It is given by injection just underneath the skin, as a series of 2 doses under the NCIS and the NAIS.
It may be given on its own as one shot, or in combination with other vaccines (e.g. Measles, Mumps and Rubella) as one shot.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

What should I do if I overdose?

Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine - Handling

How should I handle Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine safely?

Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine - Storage

How should I store Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine safely?

Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine - Additional Information

  • Tags: Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin
  • Updated on
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

    Find Your Medicines