Chicken Pox

With one child waiting for her skin to clear, and another due to get sick sometime in the next two weeks (assuming she’s one of the 90% of kids that contract the disease when exposed), childhood diseases are rather on my mind. Vaccinations have changed our world, made our children healthier, happier, and less prone to death.

India celebrated an important milestone this week – 3 years without a polio case has had them declared polio-free. Of course, it’s easy enough for the odd case to wander over the border from troubled Pakistan, who are still trying to recover from the fake vaccination program in Abbottabad, which may have helped net bin Laden, but dealt a huge blow to the real vaccination programmes that were attempting to save lives. Crippling polio has been the cost of symbolically killing one man. I digress.

Vaccines have done so much for the lives of kids. Some of the illnesses that they have prevented aren’t often fatal, but they all create misery, misery that our kids no longer have to deal with. I know that my kids will never be paralysed by polio, or be in danger of measles-related meningitis, or any other nasty disease that have now died out in most of the world.

Chicken pox is not on the NZ immunization programme. It’s not a lethal disease, it’s usually uncomplicated and passes in around seven days. But it spreads so easily, causes so much misery, and is easily stopped with a simple vaccine. I guess I can see why it’s not on the schedule – it’s an expense that we don’t see as essential.

It’s a disease we could beat though. Kids don’t need to suffer. I only knew that a vaccine existed because the US has it on their recommended schedule. It was never presented as even a paid option, and I think that needs to change. It’s an option that should be available for anyone that wants to take it, or at least anyone who can pay for it, since it’s not funded.

Anti-vaccine advocates really wind me up. How can you want to take the risk that your child might suffer or die, and that they (or you) might infect someone vulnerable. We can worry about things like autism (no link. At all) mostly because we have removed the diseases that were severely damaging or fatal. Worrying about ‘vaccine injury’ is specious when you compare it to ‘disease deaths’.

I wish I’d vaccinated my kids against chicken pox. It’s a childhood disease that doesn’t need to harm them.


2 thoughts on “Chicken Pox

  1. purplegr3mlin

    Y’know, as far as vaccinations go, I’m somewhere in the middle… I believe they have their place, but sometimes it’s a bit much.

    I do my research, just like anyone should, and sometimes, vaccines are pretty scary, but at the same time, I think a lot of them can do good. 🙂 But there definitely are some I’d never ever get… I’d include the flu shot in that.

    I, myself, have been OVER-IMMUNISED for chicken pox… and I can’t get it to begin with, so the over-immunization was stupid. It has something to do with my genetics, I just can not get chicken pox. And I can’t say I enjoyed that needle each time either! But I could see how it could be helpful, especially if you don’t get it as a child, since it can be fatal in adulthood.

    I still don’t believe they should be giving you 3-4 at a time though. And I do understand the feeling lousy, but it really isn’t smart. I think they should educate more too, not just say, “this is mandatory”. What’s in it? What are the side effects? Especially the side effect part because everyone reacts differently to different things… some people can’t even get immunised! I have some I can’t get because they could kill me (anyone, really, it’s just an allergy thing)! I just try to be smart about what I accept and what I refuse.

    It always made me wonder though: if one person is vaccinated, why are they upset about others not being so? Wouldn’t they be the first to die?

    So there are some of us in the middle! This is coming from someone who’s been in the hospital more than they can count, which may just fuel my need for more knowledge… but, not all of us are dumb or not thinking of others. I didn’t even get sick last year, I call that an accomplishment! 🙂


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