We present data to confirm that exposure to varicella boosts immunity to herpes-zoster. We show that exposure to varicella is greater in adults living with children and that this exposure is highly protective against zoster (Incidence ratio=0.75, 95% CI, 0.63-0.89). The data is used to parameterise a mathematical model of varicella zoster virus (VZV) transmission that captures differences in exposure to varicella in adults living with and without children. Under the 'best-fit' model, exposure to varicella is estimated to boost cell-mediated immunity for an average of 20 years (95% CI, 7-41years). Mass varicella vaccination is expected to cause a major epidemic of herpes-zoster, affecting more than 50% of those aged 10-44 years at the introduction of vaccination.