- Chickenpox (varicella) is a disease caused by a virus. Most people with chickenpox get very itchy blisters and sores all over their body.
- Chickenpox is spread person-to-person through the air. It is very contagious.
- Chickenpox can be a serious disease, especially in babies and adults. The disease can cause serious skin infections, pneumonia, brain damage, and even death. Chickenpox is especially dangerous for people whose immune systems are weak because of illness or medications.
- Chickenpox is still infecting people in the U.S. and the rest of the world. It is extremely contagious and can be spread by an infected person before they even know they’re sick.
- Vaccination is the most effective step you can take to be protected from this serious disease.
Chickenpox Vaccine Schedule
All children should get 2 doses of chickenpox vaccine starting at age 1. Some teens and adults may also need this vaccine if they didn’t get 2 doses of the vaccine or chickenpox disease when they were younger.
Find fact sheets, resources, multimedia, and more for parents and children from CDC.
Two doses of the chickenpox shot are recommended for children by doctors as the best way to protect against chickenpox (varicella). Learn more about chickenpox and vaccines from CDC.
Find easy-to-understand vaccine information for yourself or your loved ones, from the Department of Health & Human Services.
One Family’s Struggle with Chickenpox
Adam’s mother describes her experience when her son, 7-year-old Adam, developed a severe case of chickenpox. He lived, but the infection compromised his immune system and affected almost every organ in his body.
People of any age can feel a bit anxious about getting a shot. Some may be so anxious that they avoid vaccination…even when they know it’s important. Learn more about simple ways to help any child or adult feel better and more confident when getting vaccinated.