Varicella (chicken pox)
If you have not had chickenpox, you can be vaccinated against it when you are not pregnant. The chickenpox vaccination is effective in making nine out of ten women (90%) immune.
The vaccination cannot be given in pregnancy and you should avoid getting pregnant for 3 months after the injection. If you have been vaccinated and develop a rash you should avoid contact with pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant who have never had chickenpox.
If you find out you are not immune to chickenpox during pregnancy, your doctor may discuss vaccination after the birth of your baby.
If you have had chickenpox, you are immune and there is nothing to worry about. You do not need to do anything. If you have never had chickenpox, or are not sure, see your GP as soon as possible. You can have a blood test to find out if you are immune. If you develop a rash in pregnancy always contact your GP or midwife. If you are not immune to chickenpox and you come into contact with it during pregnancy, you may be given an injection of varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG). This is a human blood product which strengthens the immune system for a short time but does not necessarily prevent chickenpox developing. VZIG can make the infection milder and not last for as long. The injection can be given for up to 10 days after you come into contact with chickenpox and before any of your symptoms appear. VZIG does not work once you have blisters.