Varicella virus vaccine Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Varicella virus vaccine is also known as: Varivax

Varicella virus vaccine Pregnancy Warnings

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that if a woman is inadvertently vaccinated during pregnancy or becomes pregnant within 4 weeks after vaccination, she should be advised of the theoretical risks to the fetus; however, varicella vaccination should not usually be a reason for terminating the pregnancy. A Varivax Pregnancy Registry has been established to monitor maternal-fetal outcome of varicella vaccine exposures during pregnancy. To register patients, physicians should call 800-986-8999 (USA).

Varicella vaccine has been assigned to pregnancy category C by the FDA. Animal studies have not been reported. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy. No fetal adverse effects have been reported after inadvertent administration. There is a concern that transplacental passage of the virus may occur. The risk of congenital varicella syndrome associated with maternal infection with natural varicella virus during the first 20 weeks of gestation is estimated to be 1% to 2%. The risk of adverse fetal effects from the attenuated virus vaccine is believed to be much lower than that from maternal infection with natural varicella virus. The manufacturer considers varicella vaccine contraindicated during pregnancy and for 3 months after vaccination. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that live virus vaccines be avoided during pregnancy and that vaccinated women avoid becoming pregnant for 1 month after being vaccinated.

Varicella virus vaccine Breastfeeding Warnings

There are no data on the excretion of varicella virus vaccine in human milk. The manufacturer recommends caution if varicella vaccine is administered to nursing women. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) considers the administration of live virus vaccines compatible with breast-feeding.

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