4. What are the risks from chickenpox vaccine?
A vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of chickenpox vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.
Getting chickenpox vaccine is much safer than getting chickenpox disease.
Most people who get chickenpox vaccine do not have any problems with it.
- Soreness or swelling where the shot was given (about 1 out of 5 children and up to 1 out of 3 adolescents and adults)
- Fever (1 person out of 10, or less)
- Mild rash, up to a month after vaccination (1 person out of 20, or less). It is possible for these people to infect other members of their household, but this is extremely rare.
- Seizure (jerking or staring) caused by fever (less than 1 person out of 1,000).
- Pneumonia (very rare)
Other serious problems, including severe brain reactions and low blood count, have been reported after chickenpox vaccination. These happen so rarely experts cannot tell whether they are caused by the vaccine or not. If they are, it is extremely rare.