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Get Two Shots to Prevent Chickenpox

By FDOH Escambia

March 26, 2015

PENSACOLA, FL – The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) reminds residents to protect themselves and their families from chickenpox. In Escambia County, Florida, there has been an increase in chickenpox cases compared to the same time period for previous years. Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV).

The virus spreads easily from people with chickenpox to those who have never had the disease or have not received the chickenpox vaccine. The virus spreads in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also spread by touching or breathing in the virus particles that come from chickenpox blisters.

Call the doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Rash that turns into itchy, fluid-filled blisters
  • High Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Headache

The best way to prevent chickenpox is to get the chickenpox vaccine. Children, adolescents, and adults should have two doses of the chickenpox vaccine for the best protection against the disease. Children who have never had chickenpox should get two doses of the chickenpox vaccine at theses ages:

  • 1st dose: 12 to 15 months of age
  • 2nd dose: 4 to 6 years of age

People 13 years of age and older, who have never had chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine, should get two doses at least 28 days apart.

The chickenpox vaccine is very safe and effective at preventing the disease. Most people who receive two doses of the vaccine will not get chickenpox. If a vaccinated person does get chickenpox, it is usually mild—with fewer blisters and low-grade, or no fever. The chickenpox vaccine prevents almost all cases of severe disease.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.