Common side effects
The most common side effects of the chickenpox vaccine are:
- soreness and redness around the site of the injection – this happens in around 1 in 5 children and 1 in 4 teenagers and adults
- a mild rash – this happens in 1 in 10 children and 1 in 20 adults
- high temperature
Serious side effects
Serious side effects of the chickenpox vaccine, such as a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), are rare. They occur in around 1 in a million vaccinated people.
Although the chickenpox vaccine is not part of the routine NHS childhood immunisation schedule in the UK, it is in some other countries, such as the US and Germany.
Millions of doses of the vaccine have been given, and there is no evidence of any increased risk of developing a long-term health condition as a result of the vaccination.
Read more about vaccine side effects.
More about side effects
A patient information leaflet (PIL) is included in the pack of each dose of vaccine, and lists its potential side effects.
Read the PIL for the VARIVAX chickenpox vaccine.
Read the PIL for the VARILRIX chickenpox vaccine.
Monitoring safety of vaccines
In the UK, the safety of vaccines is monitored through the Yellow Card Scheme regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Commission on Human Medicines.
Most reactions reported through the Yellow Card Scheme have been minor, such as redness and swelling at the injection site, rashes, fever and vomiting.
Find out how to report a vaccine side effect.
Page last reviewed: 24 January 2019
Next review due: 24 January 2022