Guidance

Varicella: the green book, chapter 34

Varicella immunisation information for public health professionals, including updates.

Documents

Varicella: the green book, chapter 34

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Green Book Chapter 34 Patch

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Details

Varicella zoster Immunoglobulin (VZIG) is a scarce blood product that is offered to individuals at high risk of severe chickenpox following an exposure. This includes immunosuppressed individuals, young babies in their first week of life and pregnant women.

In response to a significant shortage of VZIG due to manufacturing issues, on the advice of a PHE convened expert working group, from 8th August 2018, use of VZIG is restricted to susceptible women exposed in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and neonates.

Antiviral agents are recommended for post exposure prophylaxis for pregnant women exposed after 20 weeks, and immunosuppressed individuals.

See the detailed guide ‘Updated restrictions on use of VZIG during supply shortage: advice for health professionals’.

Varicella (chickenpox) is an acute, highly infectious disease caused by the varicella zoster virus.

Chapter 34 update patches

Published 20 March 2013
Last updated 9 August 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added link to the guidance document: Updated restrictions on use of VZIG during supply shortage: advice for health professionals
  2. Added details of VZIG restrictions due to shortage.
  3. Updated the contraindications and precautions sections for varicella.
  4. Updated the Body text to include a link to National Archives (chapter update patches) and NHS Choices.
  5. First published.