Last update: Oct. 28, 2014

Varicella-Zoster Vaccine

Very Low Risk for breastfeeding

Safe. Compatible.
Not risky for breastfeeding or infant.

It is an attenuated strain of Varicellae herpes virus.

Vaccines are usually compatible with breastfeeding either if they are formed by live, attenuated, inactivated, death strains or microorganism toxoid.

They are not excreted into breast milk and do not cause harm to the infant, except for rubella vaccine, but the virus usually does not infect the infant or if infection does occur, it is well tolerated because the virus is attenuated. Yellow fever vaccine has a higher risk for harm effect on infants younger than 6 months old (Consult information on a particular vaccine at our web).

Breastfeeding may enhance antibody response to vaccines and cause fewer side effects as fever or anorexia.

Early postpartum period is appropriate to get mothers vaccinated against measles, rubella, mumps and varicella in case they were not immunized.

Breastfeeding mothers should be protected by providing recommended vaccination for adult


We do not have alternatives for Varicella-Zoster Vaccine since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.


Varicella-Zoster Vaccine belongs to this group or family:


  1. Taylor CM, Shelton CM. Vaccine recommendations in pregnancy and lactation. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2019 Jan - Feb;59(1):137-140. Abstract
  2. Sachs HC; Committee On Drugs. The transfer of drugs and therapeutics into human breast milk: an update on selected topics. Pediatrics. 2013 Sep;132(3):e796-809. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. Raney EC, El-Ibiary SY. Immunizations and pregnancy: an update for pharmacists. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2012 Abstract Full text (in our servers)
  4. Raney EC, El-Ibiary SY. Immunizations and pregnancy: an update for pharmacists. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2012 Abstract
  5. Verd S, López E. Management of chickenpox with frozen mother's milk. J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Aug;18(8):808-10. Abstract
  6. Red Book. Pickering LK, Baker CJ, Kimberlin DW, Long SS, eds. Red Book: 2012 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases. 29th ed. Elk Grove Village, Red Book 2012
  7. National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. General recommendations on immunization --- recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR Recomm Rep. 2011 Abstract Full text (in our servers)
  8. Chen LH, Zeind C, Mackell S, LaPointe T, Mutsch M, Wilson ME. Breastfeeding travelers: precautions and recommendations. J Travel Med. 2010 Jan-Feb;17(1):32-47. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  9. Gruslin A, Steben M, Halperin S, Money DM, Yudin MH; SOGC. Immunization in pregnancy: No. 220, December 2008. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2009 Abstract
  10. Gruslin A, Steben M, Halperin S, Money DM, Yudin MH, Boucher M, Cormier B, Ogilvie G, Paquet C, Steenbeek A, Van Eyk N, van Schalkwyk J, Wong T. Immunization in pregnancy. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2008 Abstract
  11. Schmidt JV, Kroger AT, Roy SL. Report from the CDC. Vaccines in women. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2004 Abstract
  12. Tillett J. The use of vaccines in pregnancy. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2004 Abstract
  13. Bohlke K, Galil K, Jackson LA, Schmid DS, Starkovich P, Loparev VN, Seward JF. Postpartum varicella vaccination: is the vaccine virus excreted in breast milk? Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Nov;102(5 Pt 1):970-7. Abstract
  14. Pabst HF. Immunomodulation by breast-feeding. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1997 Abstract
  15. Pabst HF, Spady DW, Pilarski LM, Carson MM, Beeler JA, Krezolek MP. Differential modulation of the immune response by breast- or formula-feeding of infants. Acta Paediatr. 1997 Abstract
  16. [No authors listed] General recommendations on immunization. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR Recomm Rep. 1994 Abstract Full text (in our servers)
  17. Yoshida M, Yamagami N, Tezuka T, Hondo R. Case report: detection of varicella-zoster virus DNA in maternal breast milk. J Med Virol. 1992 Oct;38(2):108-10. Abstract
  18. Frederick IB, White RJ, Braddock SW. Excretion of varicella-herpes zoster virus in breast milk. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1986 Abstract

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e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine from United States of America

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