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Varicella Vaccine

Last updated on 02/08/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Varicella Vaccine

ALTERNATIVE NAME: Chickenpox Vaccine


BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Varilrix 美瑞克, Varivax 伏痘敏, Zostavax 康栢苗

DRUG CLASS: Vaccines

SUB CLASS: Vaccines

USED FOR: Immunisation against Varicella (chickenpox)


What is Varicella Vaccine For?

Varicella, or chickenpox, is a highly infectious disease caused by Varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Chickenpox can cause rash, blister formation and itchiness for around 5 days. Chickenpox is more common among younger people and VZV remains in the body after chickenpox heals. The virus that remained in the body can be reactivated at a later age, turning to shingles. Shingles may appear in any parts of the body, however, it most often appears as a single strip of rash with pain that wraps around one side of the torso.

As part of the Hong Kong Childhood Immunisation Programme, children in Hong Kong receive their first and second subsidised doses of Varicella Vaccine at the age of 12 months and primary one, respectively.

How to use it?

Varicella Vaccine is only available as injections.

Prevention of Herpes-related diseases
First dose at the age of 12 months, second dose in primary one (approximately 5-6 years old).
One dose. Revaccination may be needed.

What are the side effects of Varicella Vaccine?

Common side effects of Varicella Vaccine include injection site reaction and fever.

Who should not take Varicella Vaccine?

– People allergic to Varicella Vaccine or any component of the formulation
– People allergic to former dose of Varicella Vaccine
Pregnant or breastfeeding women and those who intend to become pregnant
– People with immunodeficiency, such as HIV, leukemia or active tuberculosis patients
– Patients under immunosuppressive therapy, such as chemotherapy or long-term corticosteroid use

Pharmacist Tips:

– Females should avoid becoming pregnant for 3 months after vaccination.
– Children should avoid using salicylates or aspirin-containing medicine for 6 weeks after vaccination.
– Seek your doctor immediately if you have shingles, as it may cause blindness or brain damage in very rare cases.
– Consult your medical professional if there are any questions regarding your own vaccination scheme.

Common dosing schedule:
One dose at 12 months of age, second dose in primary one.
Revaccination may be needed to prevent shingles.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Varicella Vaccine may interact with:
Salicylates, e.g. Aspirin

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Varicella Vaccine in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Varicella Vaccine is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Varicella Vaccine In children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.