Classifications: vaccine, viral; Therapeutic: viral vaccine
Prototype: Hepatitis B
Pregnancy Category: C
A live attenuated vaccine that acts against both chickenpox and shingles, both of which are caused by Varicella zoster infection.
Effective in protecting healthy children and adults from varicella.
Vaccination against varicella in individuals ≥12 mo.
Hypersensitivity to any component of the vaccine; history of anaphylactoid reaction to neomycin; individuals with blood
dyscrasia, leukemia, lymphomas, bone marrow or lymphatic system malignancies, concomitant immunosuppression therapy; individuals
with primary or acquired immunodeficient states; active untreated tuberculosis; any febrile respiratory illness or other
febrile infections; pregnancy (category C); children <1 y.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia in remission; IgA deficiency; lactation.
Route & Dosage
Adult: SC Primary immunization of 0.5 mL followed by 0.5 mL 48 wk after first dose, may need to revaccinate 3 mo after initial
series if patient fails to seroconvert
Child (12 mo12 y): SC Single dose of 0.5 mL
- Reconstitute vaccine with 0.7 mL of supplied diluent; gently agitate the vial to mix. Withdraw entire contents of vial (0.5
mL) into syringe for injection. Change needle on syringe and administer immediately or within 30 min of reconstitution.
- Give SC into the outer aspect of the deltoid. Exercise caution not to inject IV.
- Store powder vaccine in frost-free freezer at 15° C (+5° F) or colder. Store diluent separately at room temperature
or in the refrigerator.
Adverse Effects (≥1%)CNS:
Headache, fever. Hematologic:
Mild thrombocytopenia. Skin: Redness, swelling, or rash at injection site. Other:
Herpes zoster infection (rare).
decreases vaccine's effectiveness. It is recommended that yellow fever vaccine
be given at least 1 mo apart from varicella or any other live virus vaccine. Avoid salicylates
for 6 wk after vaccination to decrease risk of developing Reye's syndrome.
Seroconversion approximately 42 d after vaccination. Duration:
>510 y in healthy children. Distribution:
Crosses placenta; distributed into breast milk.
Assessment & Drug Effects
- Withhold vaccine and notify physician if patient has a history of hypersensitivity to neomycin or a current febrile infection.
- Monitor for signs and symptoms of hypersensitivity (see Appendix F) and administer epinephrine if an anaphylactoid reaction
Patient & Family Education
- Avoid use of salicylates (e.g., acetylsalicylic acid) for 6 wk after vaccination, especially with children and adolescents.
- Notify physician about all adverse reactions (i.e., fever, rash, respiratory illness).