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 Public Health England (PHE) convened expert working group, from 8 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 above ‘Updated restrictions on the use of VZIG during supply shortage: advice for health professionals (August 2018)’ for the latest information.
All requests for stock and advice about issuing VZIG should be directed to the PHE Rabies and Immunoglobulin Service (RIgS).