Varicella, also known as chicken pox, is caused by the varicella zoster virus. It is a highly contagious disease spread through the air, or by direct contact with skin lesions. Varicella is generally a mild disease in children causing 250-500 red, itchy blisters. Complications of varicella can include bacterial infections of the skin, pneumonia, and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). Infants, adults, pregnant women, and people who are immunocompromised are at higher risk of complications from varicella.
After infection as varicella the virus remains dormant and can reactivate later in life, causing shingles.
How can I prevent Varicella?
The varicella vaccine is the best way to prevent infection with varicella.
Who should receive the Varicella vaccine?
All individuals without history of having varicella disease before 2004; those without lab confirmation of varicella disease; or those without documentation of 2 previous doses of varicella vaccine should receive the varicella vaccine.
Varicella vaccine schedule:
The vaccine is provided free to infants and children as part of the routine vaccination schedule (given as 2 doses at 12 months of age and 4-6 years of age).
It is also provided free to adults who are susceptible to varicella as 2 doses at least 6 weeks apart.
Call us at 604-251-1975 to arrange an appointment or to receive further information about the Varicella vaccine.