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Chickenpox prevention

The best way to avoid chickenpox is to have your child immunised. Chickenpox vaccination is recommended as part of routine childhood immunisation to help prevent the disease.

Chickenpox vaccine is now given free as part of the government immunisation program. It is free under the National Immunisation Program Schedule. To receive immunisation, visit your local doctor or immunisation provider. It is important to note that although the vaccine is provided at no cost, a consultation fee may apply.

Immunisation against chickenpox is achieved in one dose of the MMRV (measles-mumps-rubella-varicella) combination vaccine at 18 months of age. A catch-up program is available for children aged 10-13 years who have not received the varicella vaccine.

The vaccine should not be given to children with severe immune deficiency diseases, including HIV/AIDS, or to any child taking high doses of immune suppressing medicine.

Avoid people with chickenpox.

Chickenpox can sometimes be spread through contact with objects that have been infected with the virus, such as children's toys, bedding or clothing.

If someone in your household has chickenpox, you can help stop the virus spreading by wiping any objects or surfaces with a sterilising solution and making sure that any infected clothing or bedding is washed regularly.

If you or someone close has chickenpox then remain isolated from others to prevent cross infection. This means taking time from work, social contact, attending school or care. Check with your doctor how long to remain isolated.

Last reviewed: October 2016

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