My child just got the MMRV vaccine that contains a weakened chickenpox virus. If I never had chickenpox symptoms in my life, can I contract it from him?

Would also getting vaccinated help?


Yes, you can contract it, but it is very unlikely.

The chickenpox vaccine is a live (attenuated) vaccine, meaning that it was weakened.

People who get chickenpox vaccines can spread the vaccine-strain varicella-zoster-virus to others. However, this happens very rarely.

Source: CDC

In a 10 year study of Varivax (the Merck vaccine), this happened in only 3 people in contact with. One of them was a pregnant woman, one a baby and one a healthy man. Even considering not all cases get reported and that the authors of this study work for Merck, this is a very low number, considering how many doses were used over that time period (55 million doses distributed).

Secondary transmission of vaccine virus: A varicella-like rash occurring 10-21 days after exposure to a person recently vaccinated. It is extremely rare. Since 1995, only eight secondary cases of transmission of vaccine virus from seven vaccinees have been documented with the varicella (Oka/Merck) vaccine, five of which occurred in immunocompetent people... All laboratory-confirmed cases of Oka vaccine secondary transmission have resolved without complications. 

Source: CDC

As for getting vaccinated yourself, it is certainly something you can do as an adult and the CDC recommends it for unvaccinated adults.

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