The Chickenpox Vaccine: Health 101

Are there any side effects from the chickenpox vaccine?

Getting the chickenpox vaccine is much less risky than contracting the actual illness. Some mild side effects are common:

  • About 20 percent of children and up to one-third of teens and adults will have soreness or swelling near where they get the shot.
  • Up to 10 percent of people may develop a fever.
  • Up to 5 percent of people may develop a minor rash, up to a month after receiving the shot.

Children who get the MMRV vaccine (a combination of the measles-mumps-rubella and chickenpox vaccines) may be more likely to get fever and a mild rash than those who get MMR and chickenpox vaccines separately.

Other potential but rare side effects from the chickenpox vaccine include seizures (caused by high fever) and pneumonia.

As with any vaccine, severe allergic reactions are very rare, but possible. If you notice your child having difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, dizziness, or a rapid heartbeat shortly after receiving a shot, call your doctor right away.

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