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3/1/2002

ACIP Says to Delay Infant Varicella Vaccination

Kate Traynor

In response to a nationwide shortage of varicella virus vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has asked health care providers to wait until a child is 18–24 months old before administering the vaccine.

Under normal circumstances, the varicella virus vaccine is given once to children between 12 and 18 months of age and to older children who have not been vaccinated and have not already contracted chickenpox. People over age 13 require two doses of the varicella virus vaccine administered four to eight weeks apart.

ACIP reminded health care providers to track deferred doses of the varicella virus vaccine and call back patients to receive their shots when the product is no longer in short supply.

For information about vaccine and drug product shortages, visit ASHP's Drug Product Shortages Management Resource Center.