NCBI Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006-.

Cover of Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed)

Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet].

Show details

Varicella Vaccine

Last Revision: July 20, 2020.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

Drug Levels and Effects

Summary of Use during Lactation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the several health professional organizations state that vaccines given to a nursing mother do not affect the safety of breastfeeding for mothers or infants and that breastfeeding is not a contraindication to varicella vaccine. Breastfed infants should be vaccinated according to the routine recommended schedules.[1-3]

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. Two postpartum women immunized with varicella vaccine provided preimmunization and serial postimmunization breastmilk samples (number not specified). One sample of colostrum contained detectable viral DNA and B-actin by polymerase chain reaction, but all other samples were negative for these species. No varicella gene sequences were found in any of the samples.[4]

One study of 12 women vaccinated with live, attenuated varicella vaccine found no evidence of varicella virus excretion into breastmilk.[5]

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants

Limited data indicate that breastfeeding can enhance the response of the infant to certain vaccine antigens. .[1,2,6]

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

References

1.
Ezeanolue E, Harriman K, Hunter P, et al. Best Practices Guidance of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). https://www​.cdc.gov/vaccines​/hcp/acip-recs​/general-recs/index.html Accessed June 5, 2020.
2.
Kimberlin DW, Brady MT, Jackson MA, et al. Red Book: 2018 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases. 31st ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics. 2018.
3.
Gruslin A, Steben M, Halperin S, et al. Immunization in pregnancy: No. 220, December 2008. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2009;105:187–91. [PubMed: 19367691]
4.
Dolbear GL, Moffat J, Falkner C, et al. A pilot study: Is attenuated varicella virus present in breast milk after postpartum immunization? Obstet Gynecol. 2003;101(4) Suppl:47s. Abstract.
5.
Bohlke K, Galil K, Jackson LA, et al. Postpartum varicella vaccination: is the vaccine virus excreted in breast milk? Obstet Gynecol. 2003;102:970–7. [PubMed: 14672472]
6.
Pabst HF. Immunomodulation by breast-feeding. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1997;16:991–5. [PubMed: 9380478]

Substance Identification

Substance Name

Varicella Vaccine

Drug Class

Breast Feeding

Lactation

Vaccines

Disclaimer: Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.

Views

Related information

Similar articles in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...