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What Is the Varicella Vaccine Used For?

How Does the Varicella Vaccine Work?

Simply stated, the varicella vaccine "tricks" the body into thinking it has been exposed to chickenpox. The body produces antibodies that will help fight the virus if future exposure occurs.
This vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine. This means that it contains the living virus which has been altered in such a way as to prevent it from actually causing disease. However, the body's immune system still responds to it, providing future protection from the disease.
In general, live vaccines provide better protection from infections (compared to other types of vaccines) but can, in rare cases, actually cause the disease, particularly in people who have very weakened immune systems.

Off-Label Uses for the Varicella Vaccine

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend the varicella vaccine for something other than the uses discussed in this article. This would be known as an "off-label" use. At this time, using the varicella vaccine to prevent chickenpox (or reduce the severity) in people who have recently been exposed to chickenpox (within the past three to five days) is an off-label use of the product.
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Varicella Vaccine Information

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