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What is chickenpox?

Varicella Zoster, also known as chickenpox, is a common viral infection usually caught in childhood. It’s highly contagious and is spread through coughing, sneezing, and direct contact. 

Who is at risk from chickenpox?

Whilst chickenpox can affect all ages, it’s most commonly caught in childhood. Symptoms do generally get worse with age however, often requiring time off from school, childcare or work.

To protect those who are most vulnerable to chickenpox, the NHS recommend, and offer, the chickenpox vaccine to healthcare workers, laboratory workers in direct contact with the virus, and those who are in close contact with someone with a weakened immune system (such as a sibling of a chemotherapy patient living in the same household).

How can Boots help?

The NHS currently offers a chickenpox vaccination to certain vulnerable groups, protecting those who are most at risk.

The Boots Chickenpox Vaccination Service is available to those seeking protection from the chickenpox virus, including those who are eligible through the NHS but choose a private vaccination service.

If our Chickenpox Vaccination Service is suitable, you'll receive two vaccinations at a minimum of six weeks apart. If you, or your child, had a first dose of chickenpox vaccination at a different provider, you can still have your second dose at Boots, providing you meet all the eligibility criteria for the Boots service.

Who is the Boots Chickenpox Vaccination Service suitable for?

The service is suitable for both adults and children aged between one and 65 years inclusive at the time of the first vaccination.

The service isn't suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone with a weakened immune system, or anyone who's had an allergic reaction to any previous vaccination. The service is also not suitable for anyone who's received the MMR vaccine in the previous four weeks. Your pharmacist will check suitability during the consultation.

Which Boots pharmacies offer the Chickenpox Vaccination Service?

The Boots Chickenpox Vaccination Service is available in selected Boots pharmacies. Find your nearest pharmacy offering the service.



Book an appointment at a participating Boots pharmacy


Receive the first dose of the vaccination (if suitable) after a pharmacist consultation


Return for a second dose of the vaccination at least six weeks later

How long will the in-store consultation take?

The first in-store consultation and vaccination, if suitable, will take about 25 minutes. The second appointment and vaccination will take about 20 minutes.

What else do I need to know before the appointment?

Children under the age of two will typically be vaccinated in the thigh, and anyone over the age of two will usually be vaccinated in the arm. However, the pharmacist will use their judgement in each case to decide whether to vaccinate in the thigh or arm. Therefore, it’s helpful for you or your child to wear loose fitting clothing and short sleeves that can be rolled up.

If a child is being vaccinated, try to stay calm as young children can be nervous about vaccinations, and try to leave plenty of time before the appointment. You'll be asked to stay behind for five minutes after each injection to make sure there are no immediate reactions to the vaccination.


The Chickenpox Vaccination Service costs £140 if you buy the full course of two vaccines together at the first appointment or £75 per dose if purchased separately. Book your appointment today.