Monday, January 20, 2014

My Two Cents on the Chicken Pox Vaccine

First and foremost: ***THESE ARE MY OPINIONS***

Here's my take on the problem with the vaccine: way back in 2000 or so, right as the vaccine was becoming required, and right after my younger two got the vaccine, there were articles that came out that said YES a booster would absolutely be needed, that the vaccine was NOT effective beyond 10 years, AND it was thought that those that received the vaccine *could* be a increased risk for shingles.

I did get the vaccine in 1996 (it was in limited availability at the time) in a panic after my 5 year old came home from school with the chicken pox. I was almost 31 and had never had the chicken pox and only heard nightmare stories about getting them as an adult. Although I was on a wait list, the base made an exception since I was exposed.

Two weeks later was Thanksgiving. We had friends visiting and more friends coming over for dessert. It was a glorious day and evening, although I had begun to feel a little funky but attributed that to the wine we had consumed. I had a sudden itch on my neck. The second my fingers felt the spot I intended to scratch--I knew I had come come down with the pox. I ran a 103/104 fever for about 2 days with lots of hallucinations. My then 2 year old also broke out the day after Thanksgiving. Somewhere I have a picture of the two of us covered in spots.

People say the vaccine will protect from a bad case of the chicken pox. Mine were pretty flipping bad. People say it could have been much worse had I not gotten the vaccine. My two cents here is NO ONE can know that. Statements like that are pure propaganda.

Back to the first paragraph's discussion. Any news and/or articles about the absolute need for a vaccine disappeared and not discussed again, as far as I can tell, until very recently.

In 2005 (ish, could have been 2006) there was a massive outbreak of chicken pox among the students of elementary schools in our town. The CDC confirmed this to be an epidemic. 80% of those students had been vaccinated. EIGHTY PERCENT.

I remember discussing with friends how we feared that with all of these kids being vaccinated against the chicken pox, we were going to see a generation of adult chicken pox outbreaks like never seen before as well as an increase in shingles outbreaks.

I had shingles when I was 45. Then I got it again almost a year later. Yes, that's correct--not once, but twice, and I'm not alone. There is a vast increase in the outbreak of shingles, particularly among younger people. I'm not going to quote any sources, feel free to research it yourself and come to your own conclusions. What I will say is, I'm not saying "Don't get the pox vaccine for your children!" I simply wish we had been given more truthful information, like the need for boosters every 10 years. I don't know what I would have decided back then but at least I'd feel more confident in my decision to cave into the pressure that was put on me by the pediatrician at the time.

Measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, polio, and whooping cough were quickly shown to be eradicated from most of society because of the vaccines. All of those diseases have made brief comeback appearances through the years but have been generally contained. The chicken pox continues to prove to be with us in one form or another, even with the vaccine being mandated now for more than 10 years. Something isn't right.

Just my two cents.

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