uxuyeW_4F3ElN81XW6a_BFhJMp4 Real Houston Housewife: Summer is the perfect time for (pox) parties!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Summer is the perfect time for (pox) parties!

 To Vaccinate or Not? How about a Chicken Pox Party instead?

My 8 year old is completely vaccinated up to 6 years old. My youngest two, ages 3 and 19 months have no vaccines. Why? Because I didn't know better! I continue to tell myself that one day we will get some vaccines, but as my kids get older, I'm not sure I believe myself anymore. I came across this awesome post from The Mommypotamus this morning:

I have heard about Pox Parties, but never really considered it before reading this! It all makes perfect sense! I talked to my husband this morning for a few minutes, when I told him about moms sending infected lollipops through the mail, he laughed. He has no idea.  I especially enjoyed the part about boosting the parents immunity to shingles. Since I had Chicken Pox, and the vaccine, as a child, and my younger sister has already had an outbreak of shingles, it is something that has been on my mind.


 Here is an excerpt from the post:

So Why Not Just Skip Both??

Ahhh, that’s a great question! There are several reasons you want your kids to have natural immunity from the chicken pox.
Reason #1: Contracting chicken pox during the first trimester of pregnancy can cause birth defects, so it’s important that women be immune. If the mother had the illness as a child, she will pass on antibodies through the placenta during pregnancy and additional ones via breast milk after the birth. This protects the child until around weaning age when their immune system is functional enough to handle the illness. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that artificially gained immunity can be passed on in this way, which leaves children under 12 months extremely vulnerable.

Reason #2: Allowing children to contract natural chicken pox prevents death later on. According to this article, “After contracting and recovering from chickenpox (usually as a child), as you age, your natural immunity gets asymptomatically “boosted” by coming into contact with infected children, who are recovering from chickenpox. This natural “boosting” of natural immunity to the varicella (chickenpox) virus helps protect you from getting shingles later in life.” This means that as our children grow up, they need their children to contract chicken pox to boost their immunity and prevent shingles (which can be life-threatening). As we’ve already discussed, the chicken pox vaccine  is associated with an increased risk for shingles. Merck knows this, so they have introduced Zoster, an anti-shingle vaccine meant to counteract the effect of the chicken pox vaccine later in life. A vaccine to “fix” the problems with the previous vaccine with no long term studies on effectiveness? No, thank you!
(Note: And individual should only experience shingles once (if ever) as an adult. If it it becomes a chronic condition that indicates immune system dysfunction)

Reason #3: The vaccine has a relatively high rate of failure and wears off with time. According to Dr. Jane Seward, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, an outbreak of chickenpox at a New Hampshire day care center revealed a failure rate of about 60%. The outbreak in 23 children began with a child who had been vaccinated, contradicting the belief that such “breakthrough” cases are not contagious. The child, a 4-year-old, was confirmed not to have developed chickenpox infection from the vaccine, but probably developed it after exposure to a sibling with shingles.5
How long each vaccine lasts varies from person to person, so there can easily be a significant gap in immunity. These “breakthrough” cases and gaps leave open the real possibility that our children will contract the illness post-puberty, which leads to a higher risk for pregnancy related birth defects, other complications and death.
Also, because the chicken pox vaccine contains a live (but weakened) version of the chicken pox, recently vaccinated individuals often feel well enough to be out-and-about during the period they are “shedding” the virus. This means they can easily come into contact with babies and immuno-compromised individuals – those that “herd immunity” is theorized to protect. On the flipside, people who actually have chicken pox are at home resting for much (but not all) of the time that they’re contagious, thus reducing potential contact with vulnerable groups.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Brenda! Thank you for helping to spread the word about the benefits of natural immunity!