Oregon Sunshine posed an interesting question about the chicken pox immunization, and I thought that I would add my two cents. This is most definitely a PSA (Hi Mrs. Mom!!) and just know that it is my opinion about something...not the law...lol!!! Here is an excerpt from her comment:
"...And lastly, I've heard the last round of vaccine from the last couple years has NOT been protecting from chicken pox. It's going around at Dude's school side by side with something that doesn't quite look like chickenpox, but sorta acts like it, minus the blisters. This leaves me wondering if the vaccine is really just setting our kids up to get chickenpox as an adult- which can lead to all sorts of problems in itself."
As many of you know, I have been a nurse who worked in a doctors office for over 10 years, and I happened to be around when the varicella vaccine (the virus that causes chicken pox) first came out. It is a live vaccine, which means that it can give the child an active case of the disease, and it is given in a series of two shots.
Now...I was amazed when parents jumped all over this immunization in the first place, because it was brand new, and honestly, almost all of us adults had chicken pox and we survived it just fine. There are secondary complications to the disease, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, skin infections, and death, but these are rare, and are caused when bacteria sets in...not from the actual virus itself.
Suddenly there were commercials all over the television that told the public that chicken pox was a deadly disease that could be prevented, and consumers started calling and bringing their children in for the immunization. I remember asking a drug rep (whose company made the vaccine) why the vaccine had been developed, and he looked me right in the eyes and told me it was for convenience (and of course money!). He said that the average child, and thus parent, misses about one week of school (parent misses work), and that it was easier for everybody involved, if they didn't have to miss school and/or work. Okay...I'll buy that, but is it safe and effective??? Most definitely, I was assured.
We started noticing that kids who were given the immunization, were getting really sick, with high fevers, runny noses, and coughs, and that they would break out with anywhere from 2-40 pox's after the immunization. This was not entirely shocking, as the vaccine was live, but what we weren't prepared for was that the kids would do this more than once.
Let me emphasize that not all of the immunized children had this reaction , and not all of them got a mild case of chicken pox more than once, but it did/does happen...frequently. I decided that I would take my chances, and not immunize my children, and as you can see, they have both now had the virus.
Would I wish chicken pox on anybody??? No!! It is awful, and I wish that the vaccine was 100% effective, but for more than 1/2 of the immunized children, it is not. As Oregon Sunshine pointed out, kids are now getting multiple cases of chicken pox, or they are getting strange rashes that resemble chicken pox, but are not quite chicken pox. Scientists (the MD kind) think that this new type of almost chicken-pox-but-not-quite-chicken-pox is a type of mutated varicella virus, that may, and they emphasize the word "may," have been caused from the immunization.
Obviously immunizations can be effective, and prevent terrible epidemics, but I always push for parent/patient education. Don't do something just because the television and your doctor say it is okay. Do the research first and make an informed decision before you take medications, have surgery, or get certain immunizations.
PS-If you are teenager or an adult, and have never had an active case of chicken pox, ask your doctor to have a varicella titer drawn to see if you have developed antibodies to the disease. If you have, great!!! And if you haven't, consider getting the immunization, because the older you are when you get the disease, the worse you develop it, and the risk of developing secondary complications goes up significantly.
Okay...I will get off of my soapbox now!!! LOL!!!
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