Breakthrough after varicella vaccination occurs in approximately 2. 6% approximately 18.6% of immunocompetent children, but the reason has not been demonstrated clearly. As a first defense, specific secretory IgA antibody on the mucosa plays an important role in preventing invasion of microorganisms. To examine induction of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) specific secretory IgA after natural infection and vaccination and its booster mechanisms, 143 salivary samples were tested by ELISA. The VZV-secretory IgA values were significantly higher in the matched children after natural chickenpox than in those after vaccination, although the total secretory IgA did not differ between them. Two (7%) of the vaccinees lacked the sIgA antibody. In the elderly and in immunocompromised children, the VZV-secretory IgA values were no lower than those in healthy children, and they did not lack VZV-secretory IgA. The doctors and nurses taking care of patients with chickenpox had higher values than the other groups as did individuals who had had herpes zoster recently. VZV-secretory IgA was thought to be stimulated by exogenous and reactivated endogenous VZV to neutralize VZV with weak activity. These results suggest that low or no induction of VZV-secretory IgA antibody after vaccination may be one of the possible explanations for a breakthrough.