NIAW: Varicella and Hepatitis A

Varicella vaccine protects against chickenpox.

Children get two doses of the chickenpox vaccine for best protection. Children need one dose at each of the following ages: 12 through 15 months and 4 through 6 years.

  • Chickenpox spreads primarily by touching or breathing in the virus particles that come from chickenpox blisters and possibly from infected respiratory droplets.
    • Symptoms: rash, itching, tiredness, headache, high fever.
    • Complications: infected blisters, bleeding problems, encephalitis (brain swelling due to infection), pneumonia (infection in the lungs).
    • People can die from chickenpox.


Hepatitis A vaccine protects against hepatitis A.

Doctors recommend children get two doses of the hepatitis A shot for best protection. Children need the first dose at 12 through 23 months and the second dose 6 to 18 months after the first.

  • Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by feces or stool from an infected person.
    • Symptoms: Symptoms are more likely to occur in adults than in children, but not everyone has symptoms. If symptoms develop, there may be fever, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, joint pain, fatigue, jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes), dark urine, or grey-colored stools.
    • Complications: liver failure and death, although rare and occurs more commonly in people older than 50 and people with other liver diseases.