What is the difference between Zostavax and Varivax?


Zostavax is intended for people 60 years and older to reduce the risk of getting shingles.

Varivax is intended for people who have not had chicken pox, to prevent them from acquiring the infection, which most often occurs in children.
Both diseases are caused by the same virus, varicella zoster.

Both vaccines contain the same live attenuated (altered) virus, varicella zoster. However, Zostavax contains a higher dose than Varivax does.

The initial infection with the virus causes chicken pox, and reactivation of the dormant virus causes shingles.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.