Published Online: Tuesday, August 1, 2006

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) unanimously recommended that children aged 4 to 6 years receive a second dose of varicella vaccine for the prevention of chickenpox. The ACIP also suggested that children, adolescents, and adults who received only a single dose of varicella vaccine receive a second, "catch-up dose," which can be done as part of routine health care visits and school-and college-entry requirements.

VARIVAX [varicella vaccine live (Oka/Merck)] and ProQuad [measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (Oka/Merck) virus vaccine live] are the only vaccines to protect against chickenpox in the United States. VARIVAX is indicated for vaccination against varicella in individuals 12 months of age and older. ProQuad is indicated for simultaneous vaccination against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella in children 12 months to 12 years of age.

The committee also voted to recommend that a second dose of varicella vaccine be part of the CDC Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.

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