A large double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of live attenuated Oka/Merck varicella vaccine was conducted among healthy children, 1-14 years of age. During the first varicella season, the efficacy of the vaccine among susceptible children was 100%1. During the second varicella season, 22 children were diagnosed with varicella; 21 cases in placebo recipients and one in a vaccine recipient. The overall efficacy of the vaccine through two varicella seasons was 98%. After the code for the study was broken, the original group of vaccine recipients continued to be followed for development of varicella. The estimated proportion of vaccine recipients who remained varicella-free at the end of 7 years was 95%. The 23 cases of varicella that occurred in vaccine recipients over the 7-year period were considerably milder than natural varicella. The average number of lesions was 53, 50% of the children had non-vesicular rashes, and 14% of the children had a temperature greater than or equal to 38.9 degrees C (102 degrees F), oral. The persistence of antibody in a subset of vaccine recipients followed for 6 years was 100%.