In spite of close contacts with patients who had varicella, 101 of 106 (95%) healthy and sick children (142 of 147 (97%) exposures of these children) who had received the OKA strain of live varicella vaccine 7 to 10 years earlier were protected against the disease completely. Among them, 37 of 38 (97%) vaccine recipients who received immunologic testing had varicella-zoster virus (VZV) antibodies tested by fluorescent antibody to membrane antigen method with a geometric mean titer of 1:9.3, and 37 of the 38 (97%) showed positive skin reaction to varicella-zoster virus antigen with erythema (mean diameter 13.4 mm). These findings were compared with those for 29 children who had contracted typical varicella 7 to 10 years earlier, whose seropositive rate was 100% with a geometric mean titer of 1:10.5, and 97% of whom (28/29) had positive skin reaction with mean diameter of 12.9 mm. These results indicate that the vaccine-induced protective immunity persists for approximately one decade and is almost equal to the long-term immunity following natural infection.
- Received April 16, 1984.
- Accepted May 17, 1984.
- Copyright © 1985 by the American Academy of Pediatrics