Skip Navigation

HHS HealthBeat (September 28, 2012)

More shots, less chicken pox

A young child receives a vaccination.
Listen to TipAudio

Chickenpox (Varicella)

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

Chicken pox, or varicella, is easy for kids to catch when it’s around them, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the number of cases has fallen around 80 percent since 1996, when vaccine became available.

However, CDC researcher Adriana Lopez says a lot of people are still not fully vaccinated, making them vulnerable:

“The varicella vaccine is recommended for children, who should get two doses, with the first dose given at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second at 4 to 6 years of age.”

Teens and adults who’ve never had chicken pox should also get two doses, at least 28 days apart.

A study on chicken pox is in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: September 28, 2012