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Northside Pediatrics

New Recommendations for a Second Chicken Pox Vaccine

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommend that all children receive 2 doses of chicken pox vaccines (instead of 1) to protect against chicken pox.

Some children do not receive good protection from a single dose of the vaccine, and other children sometime lose their protection over the next several years after a single dose. Two doses of the vaccine increases the percentage of children who receive full protection and increases the number of years that most children will be protected.

Previously the recommendation was that children receive the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine at 12-15 months.

Now all children should receive their first dose of varicella vaccine at 12-15 months with a booster dose at the time of their "Kindergarten Shots" at 4-6 years of age. Because most children will receive both of these doses in a combination vaccine that includes MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) and chicken pox together, they will not have to have an additional needle stick to get this added protection.

If your child is older than 6 years or has already received his Kindergarten shots, he should have a 2nd dose of chicken pox vaccine alone.