Depending on the disease it might be a good choice to let your child get the it rather than vaccinate….again, this is not the best course in all situations, but it is for some, So here is an article discussing some of the factors you will want to look into as you make these important decisions. CHICKENPOX YEAH OR NEAH?
Chickenpox (varicella) is caused by a virus called Varicella-zoster. It starts with a fever and is followed by a rash of red spots that may be itchy. There may be hundreds of these spots, which eventually turn into blisters filled with fluid. After four or five days, the blisters dry out and become crusted. From start to finish, chickenpox may last seven to ten days.
Most children who get chickenpox recover completely. However, severe cases of chickenpox can pose serious health risks, in a very small percentages of cases. The CDC estimates that the 4 million annual cases result in 11,000 hospitalizations and 100 deaths every year. The risk of death from chickenpox complications in healthy children is quiteminimal.
Critics of vaccines say that catching the wild version can mean the difference between temporary and lifelong immunity. According to Merck’s literature, “the duration of protection of Varivax is unknown at present.”
When deciding upon any immunization, it is wise to consider both the risks versus benefits of the vaccine. Children who do not get the vaccine are likely to develop chickenpox. Please talk to your pediatrician about your concern and preferences.
Varivax, the varicella vaccine manufactured by Merck, was approved by the FDA in 1995. The latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports estimate that 75 percent of the nation’s children have been vaccinated with it. They credit the vaccine with a significant statistical drop in the number of chickenpox cases reported, and they have stacks of studies to back up their claim.
While the CDC estimates the vaccine to be 86 percent effective in children, a 2001 CDC study showed that that effectiveness might actually be as low as 40 percent.
Nor, perhaps, is the vaccine as safe as advertised.
Dr. Arthur Lavin, a pediatrician at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Cleveland , writes in The Lancet that routine varicella vaccination in healthy children might pose a “grave danger of advancing the age of onset of chickenpox into adulthood.”
In the recent past, the primary benefit of getting chickenpox as a child was the likelihood of attaining lifetime immunity. While 10-20% of people who had had chickenpox would eventually develop shingles (a condition characterized by numbness, itching, or severe pain that lasts for 2-3 weeks), most would not get chickenpox again. This may now be changing in areas where the chickenpox vaccine is common. In the past, multiple re-exposures helped to keep people’s immunity high. Since the vaccine is now standard in the United States, the frequency of the natural disease should decline. Those who have had chickenpox as children will not be re-exposed as often, if at all. Their immunity may wane over time, making shingles and adult chickenpox even more common than they are now.
Dr Gordon on chickenpox, “Chickenpox is a relatively benign disease in childhood and a potentially dangerous disease in adult years. Doctors may have forgotten that this is not a new vaccine but a shot invented in the 1970s to protect children on chemotherapy or high dose steroids for asthma and other illnesses. These very high-risk kids could get severe complications from varicella (chickenpox) but normal kids get immunity from the illness which might actually have been better than that acquired from the shot. My take on this shot is to try to get your child natural chickenpox for 4 or 5 years and then get the shot later if you’re not successful.”
One of the consideration brought forward to justify this vaccination is the loss of money and time due to caring for a child with chickenpox. (Form Health Canada, “Chickenpox costs Canadians more than $122 million per year. This figure represents the cost of medical and hospital care, along with personal and productivity costs for parents and others who take time away from work to be caregivers.”) Dr Greene writes, “The other major benefit of the vaccine is an economic one. The vaccine reduces the costs related to the disease, including the costs of missed work, school, and child-care. This economic factor is a major force in the drive for universal immunization in the United States.”
So I ask, are we making the right decisions based on our children’s health or the loss of money and productivity?
Get the facts about all vaccines, and discuss with your care provider an inoculation schedule that works for you and your child. Not all children need the same vaccinations. Thank God we are unique individuals who need and want different things.
Will you take the red or the blue pill?