skip to main content

What does it do?

The chickenpox vaccine helps protect you against chickenpox.

Before you start

  • Tell your health professional if you currently feel unwell or have a fever.
  • Tell your health professional if you have cancer, HIV, or take medicines which weaken your immune system.
  • Do not get pregnant for at least 4 weeks after having the chickenpox vaccine. If you plan to become pregnant, or find you are pregnant, discuss this with your doctor. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding.

How is it given?

The chickenpox vaccine is given as an injection under the skin, or into a muscle. It is given to you by a health professional.

You will need to wait for 20 minutes after having your vaccine, to check you don’t have an allergic reaction.

What if you forget a dose?

Contact your health professional to rebook your appointment.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with chickenpox vaccine including:

  • famciclovir (e.g. Apohealth Famciclovir Once®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Fever, headache

Pain, tenderness or redness at injection site

This usually passes after a few days, take paracetamol if needed. Tell your health professional if troublesome.

Symptoms of allergy including: skin rash, itching, swelling, trouble breathing

Tell your health professional immediately

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Very rarely some people develop a contagious chickenpox rash up to 6 weeks after the vaccine. If you get an itchy rash with blisters that scab over, keep away from people who may be at risk from chickenpox, such as babies, pregnant women, or people who have a weakened immune system.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the MyMedicines Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha, New Zealand. July 2024

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

Web links for this sheet in different formats

Click on buttons to copy web addresses for this leaflet:

If your browser does not automatically copy these links use its copy command instead.

About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed