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Pox Parties: Proven Immunization or Russian Roulette?

on June 26 | in Vaccines | by | with 172 Comments

I might have asked about this before but you should do a post on chicken pox parties, risks of NOT having it as a child and the risk of shingles in later life if you have had chicken pox, etc….you get my drift! {I’ll admit that I’m not too hot on exposing my kiddos on purpose to anything but I’m willing to see some research!}

~ Whittney Hoyler

Wow Whitt, you really know how to ask a loaded question! Let’s jump in, shall we?

“Could You Slip These To Katie During Snack Time?”

I held out a box of raisins, smiling in a relaxed way that says:

“I know you don’t know me, but I’m a carefree mama. Just please don’t feed my kid high fructose corn syrup, because then I’ll go all hulk on you. Just kidding! I’m totally chill, really. We’re not weirdos that make our own play dough or anything.”

**cough**

As the purple box left my hand I exhaled, blissfully unaware that halfway through snack time one of the Sunday school helpers would absentmindedly throw them away, which in Katie’s mind is basically like torching Disney Land. She told me all about it on the way home, and of course I knew just what to say:

“You know what? Making new friends is hard, especially when your mojo gets thrown off by people who have shown up to love on you and accidentally hurt your feelings. So, you never have to go back. Instead, I’m going to pay little girls to come over and be your friend and play everything you want to. Okay princess?”

Yeah, I Gagged A Little Just Writing That

As parents, we know that setting up fake environments to help our kids avoid hard situations deprives them of the opportunity to figure things out. We’ve seen what happens to kids who head off to college unprepared and constantly in need of outside help to make it through the next hurdle, so as much as we’d like to intervene . . . we don’t. We step back and – within reason – let them discover the strength within.

Except When We Don’t

The thing about immune system development is that it works exactly like emotional development, and yet our culture handles it in the opposite way! Rather than let the body learn and adapt to challenges while providing support (good nutrition, sunshine, exercise), we try Clorox every known surface within a 10 mile radius. We are helicopter parenting our children’s bodies, and in doing so we are cheating them.

Here’s the deal: Kids were meant to eat dirt. Healthy kids get sick. And bacteria is good for you. In order for a healthy immune system to stay healthy it needs to curl up to with nice, warm petri dish of chicken pox every once in awhile. In fact, trying to eradicate this disease through mass vaccination has actually made the situation much more dangerous. More on that soon, but first the basics!

The Chicken Pox Vaccine Is A Solution In Search Of A Problem

The way Merck first marketed it’s chicken pox vaccine should tell us all we need to know:

“Cure for deadly childhood disease!”

No.

“Cure for almost deadly childhood disease!”

No.

“Cure for inconvenient childhood disease!”

Yes.

In 99.9% of cases childhood chicken pox is a very mild illness and, frankly, our parents weren’t afraid of it. So to get parents to bring their kids in for a shot Merck started marketing it as a way to keep from having to take time off work to take care of sick kids. Now that it’s less common, though, people are beginning to talk about how DANGEROUS it was. It’s simply not true.

In Fact, According To Mercks Own Manual . . .

“Children usually recover from chickenpox without problems. However, the infection may be severe or even fatal in adults and especially in people with an impaired immune system.”¹

In other words almost all deaths from chicken pox occur in severely immuno-compromised individuals such as leukemia patients, or when and antipyretic (fever reducer) such as aspirin is used to suppress the body’s natural immune function. Lowering a fever does nothing to reduce the viral load, but it has been associated with a serious illness called Reyes Syndrome which can affect the liver and the brain and cause death. (More on the benefits of a fever here).

So if parents want to organize Pox Parties, what’s the big deal? I mean, this is something doctors have long recommended (and some still do!), yet people are claiming that parents who seek to give their kids natural immunity are playing russian roulette with their child.

Really?

Let’s talk some numbers here. First of all, it “is estimated there were about 3.7 million cases of chickenpox annually in the U.S. before 1995, resulting in an average of 100 deaths (50 children and 50 adults, most of whom were immunocompromised).”² So that’s about a .0027% fatality rate.

On the flipside, “Between March 1995 and July 1998, the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) received 6,574 reports of health problems after chickenpox vaccination. That translates into 67.5 adverse events per 100,000 doses of vaccine or one in 1,481 vaccinations. About four percent of cases (about 1 in 33,000 doses) were serious including shock, encephalitis, thrombocytopenia (blood disorder) and 14 deaths.

The VAERS data has led to the addition of 17 adverse events to the manufacturer’s product label since the vaccine was licensed in 1995, including secondary bacterial infections (cellulitis), secondary transmission of vaccine virus infection to close contacts, transverse myelitis and Guillain Barre syndrome (brain disorders) and herpes zoster (shingles). There have been documented cases of transmission of vaccine virus from a vaccinated child to household contacts, including a pregnant woman.”(emphasis mine)3

Now here’s the thing: There are more adverse events, but the death rate drops with the vaccine until you factor in that increased vaccination rates are pushing a shingles outbreak in adults. According to a former Research Analyst with the Varicella Active Surveillance Project, “any deaths prevented by vaccination will be offset by deaths from increasing shingles disease.” 4

But I Feel Weird Intentionally Infecting My Child

I get that, I really do. The idea of taking my children somewhere with the intention of making them miserable is awful. But here’s the thing: Whether you go with the vaccine or a pox party you are intentionally infecting your child with a live virus. One is a stronger virus with the potential for lifetime immunity, the other has a bunch of additives you can’t pronounce and a low initial success rate that wears off after a few years. And there’s this, too:

The normal route of entry of chickenpox into a child’s body is through the mouth and nose– usually inhaling particles that an infected person has coughed. This means that the virus will come in contact with the mucous membranes and trigger the beginnings of an immune response. After this initial “alert” of the immune system, the virus travels to the lymphatic system, where additional body defenses are mustered. Finally, after the body has had adequate time to gear up, the virus gains access to the blood stream and major organs. But by this time, the immune system is mounting a full response (thanks to its being alerted early by the mucous membranes and lymphatic system) and will usually protect the major organs from damage from this virus.

Now compare this scenario to what happens when one’s first exposure to the virus is from a vaccine: The mucous membranes are bypassed. The lymphatic system is bypassed. The live virus gains immediate access to the bloodstream and major organs”5

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.

Does This Mean I Think Pox Parties Are For Everyone?

No, I really don’t. We’re a few generations into our culture’s fast food, antibiotic and antibacterial product obsessed lifestyle now, and kids are not as robust as they used to be. For some, a bout of the chicken pox seems to reset the immune system, like this case of a child whose eczema “virtually cleared” following infection. On the other hand, there are children for whom chicken pox would be the last straw. It’s a heartbreaking reality, but there it is.

I do everything possible to promote healthy immune function in my family. Since I do the shopping, that means we avoid the standard American diet (GMO grains and processed foods, refined sugar, factory farmed meat and dairy, etc.), eat plenty of immune-boosting, traditional foods (fermented/cultured veggies, cod liver oil, liver etc.) and get plenty of sunshine. We purify our water with a relatively inexpensive but effective filter, make our own non-toxic cleaning supplies and beauty products, and avoid pesticides and herbicides. We seek the help of qualified medical professionals who understand our view of health and support it, and say “no thank you” to antibiotics unless absolutely necessary (since switching to real food we have never found them to be needed).

I believe it was a mistake to try to sterilize childhood, and new research supports that idea. A recent study of Amish children in Indiana concluded that increased exposure to pathological agents created more effective immune systems and far fewer allergies. Amish children experience an allergy rate of only 7 %, while the general population studied had a rate of 44%. For that, and many other reasons, it is with great sincerity that I say:

Pass the pox, please.

Would you take your kid to a pox party? If so, now might be a good time to post this link so folks know you’re looking!

Photo credit: Auntie P, MariamPhil Shirley, Kindercapes Mar

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172 Responses to Pox Parties: Proven Immunization or Russian Roulette?

  1. Ilana Grostern via FB says:

    I didn’t take mine to a party but I did bring them to play with a child with the pox.

  2. Michael Gunn via FB says:

    hell yeah!

  3. I need one! Linus is 11 and STILL hasn’t had them. So hard to find these days.

    • Kristina says:

      Jenni – I didn’t get the chicken pox until I was in the 8th grade. My mom tried to send me to the neighbors over the years to expose me to it but it never took :( So she finally cracked and my brother and I both got the chicken pox vaccine – a week later we both had the chicken pox….my whole point in that story was its not too late I know there are some groups you can find (probably through a quick internet search) that is for sharing the love (aka. chicken pox virus).

      All the best,
      KB

  4. Melissa Klingerman via FB says:

    I am completely against the pox vaccine but I don’t know if I’d toss her in a party

  5. Holly says:

    I wish I could find one for our 12 year old!! :) Our other kids all had them when they were 3 and under, I had them at 18 and our eldest son had shingles at 5. That’s something you don’t hear everyday either that pediatric shingles while not common are not rare either!! ….

    • Heather says:

      Yep, I think shingles in kids is a fairly new phenomenon :(

    • Julia says:

      I have 3 kids 2 boys then a girl, she is 5 yrs younger than the youngest boy, when the boys were little they didnt have the vaccine for chicken pox, when it came time for her to get her vaccine, i made a comment to the dr about the boys had never had the chicken pox and they had both been exposed numerous times, we were in the process of getting them the hep vaccines which was a 3 shot series, they had one more to go, so we got them the vaccine for chicken pox also. The oldest is now 25 and still never has had it, my other son is 23 and never had them and my daughter did get a very mild case of chicken pox a few yrs later, then in middle school she got shingles.

  6. Jamie Wise via FB says:

    I wish I could find someone with real pox. Everyone is vaxed now.

  7. shannon says:

    I would not go to a pox party, but I will not give my child the vaccine either. We do not live such a clean lifestyle, so I would not do the party, but he does go to MDO and sunday school with children who will be vaccinated (or not) and who will have it at some point. I feel fairly confident he will get it naturally so I don’t plan to go to a party for it. :) -I fully agree that all the vaccinated kids are just going to get it when they’re older. When teaching kinder, I never ONCE had a case of chicken pox in 6 years, but many of the 5th-6th grade teachers or jr high teachers did see it. (it’s supposed to stall it until later and then be less severe) i’d rather him just get it sooner and at a regular strength. :)

  8. I would only do a pox party if the kids were older, not toddlers, and I knew for sure the pox was wild and did not come the vaccine.

  9. I would not. I have gone my entire life without chicken pox and am doing just fine. I was later vaccinated as an adult, but did not take immunity. My son has the first dose of the vax and got the pox.

  10. I’d love to find a pox party for my kids. They are 6 & 8.

  11. I plan on doing a pox party when the chance comes up. Even better? My pediatrician recommended it!

  12. Kelsey says:

    I have a couple of questions :) What is the “ideal” age for a child to get chicken pox? My first was vaccinated (I didn’t know much about vaccinations back then). I’d love for her to get chicken pox naturally at some point, but will the vaccine wear off before she is old enough where chicken pox could be more serious?

    • Heather says:

      HI Kelsey! Historically most children had it before the age of seven, but babies were protected until they weaned. So, somewhere between weaning and kindergarten was considered typical. The success rate of the vaccine may only be around 40%, so even if it has not worn off there is a still possibility she could contract it naturally.

      • minu says:

        Would be interested to know your source for this data. As i know most of my family members and friends, relatives got it b/t age 6 and 10. I am talking of before the chickenpox vaccine was introduced in the 60s and 70s.

        • cia parker says:

          I had it when I was seven, measles when I was six. It was common for schoolchildren to spread it. I think the ideal age for both is between three and ten, past infancy but before puberty. My father had chickenpox at 43, and it wasn’t a bad case: neither measles nor chickenpox is always severe in adults, and it’s better than the risks of the vaccines!

  13. Meghon Ross via FB says:

    I would. I grudgingly let my oldest (now 11) get the vax. I now have a 4y/o who I would love to get exposed naturally, but the opportunities are hard to find. I got the chicken pox when I was a teenager and was terribly sick for at least a week; I caught them from my 3y/o brother who was only mildly ill for a couple of days.

  14. Caroline Black May via FB says:

    I would love to. My hunt for a party is on hold until well after I have this baby, but as soon as this one is old enough I’m going to renew my search.

  15. Probably not. Mostly because I have never had them and it could be potentially dangerous for me. My mom always took me around kids that had them when I was little in hopes of me getting them. But I never did. Doctor has said I may be one of a few that have a natural immunity. But if I don’t and I get them at my age it would be severe.

    • Dellaina says:

      You can have a titer done to check your immunity.

    • Stacey says:

      I have the same problem. I never got the pox as a kid although my sister and all the neighborhood kids got it. I was tested when pregnant last time and the results said equivocal. I would like my kids to get it but I am so scared to get it from them since I never got it.

  16. Brittany says:

    I would definitely expose my kids to chicken pox as soon as the opportunity arises. We don’t have a perfectly clean lifestyle but it’s far beyond the SAD. I’m hoping to find someone to expose my 18 month old to before we move overseas in a year!

  17. Leah Necaster-Wise via FB says:

    Nope. I think that’s irresponsible. If she got them unknowingly from somewhere that’s one thing but I don’t get why you’d purposely expose them to any disease…

  18. Leah Necaster-Wise via FB says:

    Alyssa why not get your titers checked?

  19. Lisa Mickey via FB says:

    Yes, are you having one???

  20. Justine Spillane via FB says:

    Absolutely not.

  21. I was going to say the same thing as Leah, Alyssa Smith Hernandez. According to this article, “It is also interesting to note that most 10 year-old children with no known history of chickenpox are actually immune.

    A study in Quebec, Canada, involving 2,000 fourth graders was done to determine the proportion of children who would need to be vaccinated in a “catch-up” program.

    Of the youngsters with negative or unknown chickenpox histories, 63 percent had antibodies against the virus, presumably from having had such a mild case that they didn’t even realize they had it. This isn’t terribly surprising given that healthy children occasionally have minimal symptoms (such as a low fever and headache), without manifestation of blisters, indistinguishable from a mild case of the flu.” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/11/02/chicken-pox-vaccine-creates-shingles-epidemic.aspx

  22. Kim Plaga via FB says:

    Yes. And when my kids had chicken pox, I had several visitors who came deliberately.

  23. Yes. Let me if anyone is having one Denver Metro. Thanks.

  24. Michelle Hillier via FB says:

    I think it’s a great idea – our Pediatrician also recommended it. Both my sister and I got it as adults (B4 our kids were born) and for her it was hell; she was sure she was dying (so weak and feverish, etc.). It is alot worse as an adult…. Better to ensure they have it as a child!

  25. I don’t know….a family friend got chicken pox in his late twenties. It was awful. He was terribly scarred and was never able to have any more children. I want my kids to get it when they’re young and develop natural immunity, but I hate the idea of then running around with a bunch of sick kids.

  26. Ashley Kelso Sherrill via FB says:

    I would once my kids are older. I have a 3 yr old and I’m pregnant. Once the baby gets to 2 or 3 I will be actively looking for one. It’s really hard to find a pox party these days though. My older sister got them when I was 3 and my mom made sure I drank after her and was exposed. I developed them and was barely sick. I would much rather my kids go through a mild case of chicken pox than get it as an adult or shingles from the vaccination.

  27. I would have loved a pox party, I searched for several years for a pox kid to expose my daughter to trying to prevent a required vaccination at kindergarten.

  28. we’d be up for a pox party! anyone know of one in Portland Oregon???

  29. Tiffany S. via FB says:

    Yep- couple families got together and spread the life-long immunity love!

  30. Also, just a side note, I’ve had chicken pox and then shingles twice. It wasn’t that big of a deal.

  31. amanda S. says:

    Great info and great post. Here’s my question: I know I had chicken pox when I was about 2 years old but my mom can’t remember if I ever got a vaccination for chicken pox when I got older. I was born in ’79 so when did the Varicella vaccine become mainstream? Is there still a possibility that I would get shingles later in life since I’ve already had chicken pox before the natural way? Thanks for the informative post!

    • Heather says:

      The vax wasn’t available until the mid-90′s so it’s very possible you haven’t had it. Regarding shingles, everyone’s risk of getting them goes up because fewer children are contracting natural pox and giving us immunity boosts through life :(

  32. I’d love to attend one in Boston, MA. Mothering.com has a pox party section in their community

  33. my mom tried to expose me to chicken pox so many times as a kid and I never got them. I was about 13 when she finally caved and I got the chicken pox shot – and then within a week or two I got the chicken pox. I have refused to give my children the vaccination. i would rather improve their immune system.

  34. Kathleen Hilmer-Kendall via FB says:

    My 7 mo old had several toddlers in her day care class that had them and she never got sick. And they give her lots of hugs and kisses! She was rather young for it but was hoping we could get it out of the way. Darn breast milk antibodies! ;)

  35. I will say that getting them at 13 was soo horrible – I couldn’t imagine what it would be like as an adult. My brother and I got them at the same time (he is five years younger) and the difference in severity of the chicken pox was unreal. He maybe had 100 pox all over his body, I had them everywhere!!

  36. Amanda says:

    Haha this is funny timing… my 22 month old just finished up with the chicken pox. We have no idea where she picked it up but we’re glad she did! (We weren’t planning on getting the vaccine anyway – although I hadn’t really considered the idea of taking her to a “pox party” either). We had a lady from church bring her youngest kiddos over to play, but I honestly think she was a little too late… we’ll have to wait and see. Thanks for the post though, lots of great information!!

  37. amanda S. says:

    Another question…sorry….my recently adopted son already had the varicella vax and is immune compromised. My other two kids have not had chicken pox or the vaccine. If my other two non-vax’d kids get chicken pox should I keep them separate from my child who is immune compromised? Also, what do you do with a child who has chicken pox? What can you give them to eleviate the symptoms? Thanks again!

  38. Holly Massie via FB says:

    Absolutely!! The vaccine is causing more problems than anything … I got mine at 18 and was fine, my 18yo has had both the pox and the shingles already …. and he’s still alive! (shocker I know!), my sister has never had them and is now like totally paranoid …. wish I could find one or just someone with it in the area for our 12yo!!! (all the other kiddos have already had them) …and honestly you can’t know if you will be severe or not til you HAVE them and shingles isn’t the worst thing ever either, it just depends on you ….

  39. Yes I would, lollypops and all, lost of hugs too :) its a great natural way to build up the immunity even if the kids are vaccinated

  40. Melanie Riggs Lowe via FB says:

    I would once my toddler is a little older. Hopefully by then the pox vax will have worn off my daughter and she can catch it naturally too.

  41. Maja says:

    Dear mommypotamus. Thanks for sharing this Info. I am horrified to se the future vision for my small scandinavian country, where the vaccine has just been released. It is very normal to go to pox parties here, have allways been. It is hard to inform parents on the effects and behavior of vaccines, but an interesting study on gaflede children has been released last year, and it shows that kids WHO have many environmental pollutants in their blood, will often not be probably immunized.. and this is certainly russian roulette, because how dó you know if your child is probably immunized?

  42. Whittney says:

    Ahh! I’m late to the party due to swim lessons. Thanks for the info – some is new info to me and some is not. I see that value in having chicken pox. Especially the childbearing and needing immunity. And of course you know that I would never vaccinate!

    You know what I think it come down to for me? I’m mad that vaccines have made it necessary for me to make this decision. Rather than just assuming the kiddos will get it at church or anywhere children congregate like I did, I must deliberately seek it out or NOT seek it out. Mass vaccination is forcing my hand. I’ve never been afraid of illness, dirt, germs and see the necessity of bacteria and immune system “growing.” In fact, I’ve never own a can of Lysol and Henry just ate some sand. But darn it, I just let the illnesses come as they will! I don’t go looking for them!

    I have some more pondering to do as you see! Thanks as always for your hard work and research!

    • Heather says:

      I feel exactly the same way, Whitt. It’s like they sterilized dirt and now I have to dig up microbes to train my kids immune systems. It feels unnatural, but I like the alternative less :(

  43. I remember these when I was a little girl. I remember all of my cousins going to my aunt and uncles house when their kids got them.

  44. Autumn Putnam via FB says:

    when my brother got the chickenpox, my cousin came over to get them as well. she was about 2 and ended up in the hospital from complications.
    for me, i would really need to do some good research before i did that, not just go off of what i know now but consider all sides of it.

  45. Marcie says:

    I have a 9 month old little girl and I am wanting to skip this vaccine. I am worried though that since I stay home with her she won’t get chicken pox and then may possibly get it as an adult or later in life, when it might be an issue. It is a tough call. I have vaccinated her up until this point, but I am wanting to wait on MMR and not get the chicken pox vaccine.

  46. Muriel Sabbag via FB says:

    Thanks for posting, Ilana Grostern! Over the last 6 years, the school has called us 3 times to say that a child had chickenpox. Yet everytime I called back to ask if my child had been exposed, I got the same reply: ‘thankfully, the child has already been pulled out…’! My oldest is now 9.5, and I am still hoping he would get it on his own and pass it to his 3 siblings, as both my partner and I had it as youngsters. Would I take them to a Chickenpox party? Quite possibly!

  47. Muriel Sabbag via FB says:

    Thanks for posting, Ilana Grostern! Over the last 6 years, the school has called us 3 times to say that a child had chickenpox. Yet everytime I called back to ask if my child had been exposed, I got the same reply: ‘thankfully, the child has already been pulled out…’! My oldest is now 9.5, and I am still hoping he would get it on his own and pass it to his 3 siblings, as both my partner and I had it as youngsters. Would I take them to a Chickenpox party? Quite possibly!

  48. Ilana Grostern via FB says:

    Muriel Sabbag I will let you know if I hear of anyone! Now how to make sure this stuff doesn’t keep showing up on my feed…:)

  49. christy says:

    Interesting timing of the post because we currently have one child with chicken pox right now and we have our second playdate of the day in 5 minutes.

  50. Caelene Peake via FB says:

    No to party. No to vaccine. Sickness not from the Lord, protection and healing are though!

  51. Dellaina says:

    We had a pox party, and thankfully it was successful. All three of my children have natural lifetime immunity now. Call me crazy, but I wish I could find someone with measles. Shhhh.

  52. Meg Bailey Gustafson via FB says:

    heck yeah

  53. Marsha McManus via FB says:

    No to the vaccine! I got the pox as an adult (20s) and it was not that bad because I am healthy. My sister also got it and she was in her 30s. Aggravating and annoying yes, but I would rather have it naturally than take the vaccine…unless you are someone that having the pox would be very severe/death then I don’t understand why it is used.

  54. Peter says:

    “Sickness not from the Lord, protection and healing are though!”

    Maybe the Lord works through people, through the amazing work of doctors that have developed vaccines to allow our children to forgo these sicknesses? (except of course for the mommies who would rather their children be sick)

    • Whittney says:

      God works ALL things for good…….but that doesn’t mean that ALL work of doctors is good for us. Signed, the Mommy Who Would Rather My Child Be Sick (REALLY?!)

  55. Chelsey Mark via FB says:

    absolutely!!!

  56. dont know anymore. i always thought she’d get it when she was younger but now that she 15 i hear its pretty rough on them.

  57. I got chicken pox at 16 and was extremely sick. I’d prefer them get it earlier than later.

    • Gini says:

      I agree! I got chickenpox when I was 11, and mine was much worse than my little brother’s (he was 8). My husband got them his junior year of high school when he was 17 and was VERY sick- and got mono on top of it. He was out of school for 6 weeks, and said it was the worst illness he’s ever experienced.

  58. Brandi Neal via FB says:

    You bet! If only i could fie.d one!!!

  59. Yes as long as the kid with the pox doesn’t have a weak strain from a vaccine. I want the full blown thing, get it and get it over with, for my kids:)

  60. Mendy Cleveland HealthCoach via FB says:

    When both of my children had full blown chicken pox all the neighbors brought their children to play so they would get them. We had 8 kids in addition to ours.

  61. Ilana says:

    @Peter, you win the Asinine Comment of the Day Award.

  62. Sarah Lenard Lancaster via FB says:

    I would, and did. Our decision was that if they didn’t get it by the teen years, we would revisit our decision. They did, however, all get it. It was much easier on the 2 year old, but the two olders did great. After spending so much time thinking about it and vacillating over whether it was the right decision or not, it was a relief to have it done!

  63. Sarah Lenard Lancaster via FB says:

    There is a theory that some adults are losing immunity since the vaccine became widespread, since reduced and weaker cases mean that fewer adults are getting a natural “booster.” The rise in shingles is also attributed to this by some, though I admit that I don’t understand very much about shingles.

  64. It’s true, Sarah Lenard Lancaster! I linked to info about the rise in shingles in the article :)

  65. My oldest son got it from who knows where when I was 7 months pregnant… he had it very similarly to the way I had it as a child (mild and no biggie). He also recently got Hand Foot and Mouth… which is another mild virus if you get it as a child. My husband and I never had it. My husband got over it quickly and was mostly annoyed by it. I however got a bunch of secondary infections, one being a severe case of pneumonia (never had it before either that I know of). I share this because it made me realize how I would prefer my boys getting these viruses naturally while I can contribute to their very healthy immune systems. I hope that my youngest will get chicken pox when he’s a bit older.

  66. Amanda Nordstrom via FB says:

    Why yes. yes I would. I was going to take them to one but something happened. :-/

  67. We can all cross our fingers that the US will soon be questioning benefits to the pox vax, Australia already has. Kids should be getting kid’s stuff, not shingles!

  68. Michelle says:

    I’m 43 and have never had them. My two oldest had raging cases when they were 4 & 5 and I never contracted them. Hrmp. Doctor thinks I have a natural immunity. Hoping that applies for shingles as well! Grace had the vaccine and then still got a light case of them. The last 3 have never had them and I would expose them in a heartbeat! Thanks for the info! :)

    • Heather says:

      A chronic low grade outbreak might indicate an autoimmune problem or it could just be suppressed immune function. Or it could just be that adults are not getting the “boosters” they need to keep shingles at bay, so as they lose immunity the shingles reappear. Whatever the cause, I’d personally focus on immune boosting foods like cod liver oil and fermented foods. And maybe kiss lots of little kids in hopes that I might get a pox pucker. :)

  69. Julie Harding says:

    Such an interesting discussion. I was just asking other whole-food minded people about the shingles vaccine. I had a horrible case of chicken pox as a kid (9 years old) & have already had 2 very mild shingles outbreaks (admittedly before I began eating a whole foods diet). I was curious about the vaccine b/c my understanding of shingles is that it only gets worse as you get older. You mention that multiple cases of shingles was related to an auto-immune problem – how would you go about uncovering the source of that problem?

  70. Denise Burgess via FB says:

    Absolutely! I’ve been wanting to expose my son to the virus since he was a wee one so he could build his own natural immunity to the disease. Sadly, he just turned 12 and has yet to be exposed. Is it horrible to say, I hope it happens soon? *insert evil laugh* ;)

  71. Jessi says:

    Pox parties have been around forever!! But now that there is a vaccine they’ve become so controversial. I would also like to point out that Varivax is a vaccine derived from both the MRC-5 and WI-38 lines of aborted fetal cells. For our family, that makes the vaccine both immoral and unethical. Not to mention, how much do we really know about vaccinating our children using cells from an aborted baby? Something about that just goes against what I would think is safe and healthy.

  72. Anna Griffin Kirkland via FB says:

    Most certainly!

  73. Angela Zaki Warfel via FB says:

    absolutely!

  74. Brandis says:

    My mom did it to me- she took me and all my siblings to my cousins’ house when they had it. Three of the four of us got sick within hours of each other and had really mild cases for a few days (although my middle sister and brother had really bad scarring- they were super fair), and the youngest got a it a few days later. Of course, I hated her for it at the time because it’s a pretty miserable illness, but I’m so glad she did it! Because I was a lot less informed when my kids were younger they both got the vaccine, but even so, I would take them to a pox party. Best case, it tests their immunity, worst case, they get it… and then are immune.

  75. Hey Heather! Great post! I’m curious what you (and others!) think about purposely exposing kids who’ve had the initial vaccine, but not the booster? 2 of our boys had the vaccine (I know, sad! 1 was a preemie & they told us he would die if he got chicken pox (the old scare tactic and as newbie parents we fell for it!), and one was adopted and already had many of his vaccines when we got him). I didn’t give them the boosters. Will they get chicken pox even though they had that initial vaccine? I’m scared for them to get it too late (like during puberty–doesn’t that cause boys to be sterile?). Anyone in Oregon have chicken pox now?! :) Ok, maybe in a week or 2 it would work better for our schedule. :)

    • Heather says:

      Since the success rate of the vaccine may be as low as 40% I’d say there’s still a good chance they’d be able to contract natural chicken pox :)

      • Heather says:

        Oh, and regarding your question about sterility, I have not hear of that as a complication of chicken pox. It is a potential outcome of smallpox, though.

        • Luckie says:

          Chicken pox doesn’t -directly- cause sterility, so it may not be listed as a complication. Chicken pox can, however, cause a very high fever, which then in turn can cause sterility. So long as you are diligent about monitoring the fever and not letting it go/stay above 102 (I have heard higher but I’d rather err on the side of caution) that should not be a risk.

  76. Kathryn Ramirez via FB says:

    This was not an option for me since my children caught it naturally before the vaccine was even available. I can say now with what I know I would still be cautious. I cannot tip my hand to fate that way.

  77. Js Shelton via FB says:

    Having chicken pox as a child is so much easier. I would rather my children have them young.

  78. Amy Roache Stempkowski via FB says:

    Yes!

  79. Stephanie says:

    Excellent article: thank you!

    My 2 1/2 year old is still nursing, so he probably wouldn’t get it now, but when he stops, I’ll definitely be looking for a pox party!

  80. Yep! I’ve taken them to three. Still no pox, so I’m looking for another one.

  81. Jennifer says:

    I probably should have done the party thing instead of vaccine. My 12-year old developed shingles. I hope that will prevent shingles later in life… but time is the only way to tell these things.

  82. When I was born my brother has the chicken pox. Since we were here and had no family (just us living in the states) my parents had nobody to take care of him so I got chicken pox when I was week old. I only had one or two dots… 2010 I was pregnant. Got the shingles. My doc said its probably cause my case was so mild (which my doc when I was a baby told my mother “she may get it again since its so mild”) I got it on my left eye got hospitalized since I could of gotten blind and if bad could travel to the brain (so I was told!) thankfully only battle scars ;)
    My gyno who is 40 has never has the pox and was not allowed to see me since she may get it then pass to other patients. She has had the booster but checked her immunity and said that she was NOT immune.
    I hate c-pox! I’m hoping my daughter who is 1 now gets it soon… Somehow!

  83. Zusa says:

    I’m not exactly sure what a pox party is. If more than one child was infected, I wouldn’t do it. When I was studying addictions counseling, they offered a course on HIV. The thing is, just because you’re infected once doesn’t mean people should stop practicing safe sex. The more times they are infected, the worse off the infection will be. Couldn’t it be just as possible for a child to get an overload of the chicken pox virus if around a bunch of kids with it?

    I’ll never forget losing a little neighborhood girl to the pox when I was a child. One pox became infected and went into her bloodstream. When you lose a child, you won’t care what the statistics are. So please be careful how you go about this.

  84. Zusa says:

    I would never expose a wee one to the pox. They can end up so miserable and with no way to understand what’s happening to them. It wouldn’t help them psychologically.

    Also, shingles generally appear in adults when they are stressed — that can mean anything, as we know: nutritionally, emotionally, sleep deprivation, etc., etc., etc. —- anything can create enough stress to bring them on. Just another reason to stay as healthy as possible with nutrition and lifestyle. Shingles can be pretty miserable too.

    • cia parker says:

      I got shingles (from stress) when my daughter was nearly two, and was happy when she caught chickenpox from my shingles! She had a fever one day and threw up her lunch, but felt all right after that, even though she had hundreds of lesions all over her body. Childen need to have measles, rubella, mumps, and chickenpox for the optimal development of their immune system, and, since none of them are common now, I think if your child is generally healthy, it would be wise to take advantage of any opportunity that arises to expose them to these viruses, after the age of two, if possible.

  85. Mindy Eardley via FB says:

    YES!

  86. Rita says:

    A one time case of natural chickenpox may not confer lifetime immunity all by itself. Usually we are clinically sick just the one time but then have repeated exposures through the rest of life (to children and grandchildren and others). These repeated little “booster” doses may be what gives us lifetime immunity.

  87. Leah says:

    Funny, I was just talking to my husband about this the other day. Our little ones are 32 months and 9 months. non vaccinated for anything. we live in a relatively isolated part of western NC so they dont get exposure to contract much. I didnt get pox till I was 12 and hated it so was hoping the girls would get it over with while young and before the CDC sterilizes the world with nonsense. Heather call us over when Katie and Micah get sick or we’ll do the same.

  88. Ellen says:

    Thank you for this wonderful info. I love it. All 7 of my children have had the chicken Pox naturally. It wasn’t that big of a deal. I actually had 2 different babies get it while nursing. I think it is the best time to get the pox. What I found was they got a really light case. It hardly phased them. It was really nice. Some of my kids also had whooping cough. I spent a lot of time fearing and avoiding this disease. I was really scared when I realized they were exposed. In the end it wasn’t that big of a deal either. It was definitely long and inconvenient but not as terrible as I had imagined. My baby was 18 months old so i’m sure it would have been worse if I had a small baby. Thank you again for all your wonderful post!

    Ellen

  89. No way…if I can do anything to prevent my babies from getting sick and suffering I will do it…with a lot of prayer and research…

  90. Alison says:

    I would but mine already had them..at the same time of course lol!!.,.. It wasn’t bad though…Super Viragon, a chiropractic adjustment, and silver biotic gel and they were literally almost gone overnight! There were several parents who wanted to have play dates so there kiddos could be exposed too lol..

  91. Alison says:

    Oh btw mine had natural chicken pox bc they haven’t had that or any vaccine…both had about a dozen spots….

  92. Heather says:

    Looking for the pox? Search yahoo groups and google groups and join the groups for your area. Fall and winter ate the busiest months for pox.

  93. Cindy says:

    I had the pox in third grade, now 41, and my recent titer is through the roof. My daughter had a very bad case of pox at age 6 months old, now 21, still has scars and the doc said because she was so young she could have it a second time. She has not to this date. However my mother had the pox twice! My son has never had the pox and now at age 15 I am concerned. We homeschool and I guess kids at church, little league and boy scouts must have all had the vaccine because I don’t know of anyone getting it during his lifetime. We don’t believe in vaccines though so we will just wait and see. BTW he hardly ever gets sick except the occasional cold – and – both of my kids were encourage to go outside and get dirty!

  94. Laura N says:

    I would love to get this over with for my children, but my 36yo husband has never had it and I’m afraid he would get really sick! We are a no-vaccine family. I’m not sure what to do about this.

    • Heather says:

      You might want to have his titers checked, Laura. He could have had them and not know it (some kids never get bumps). According to this article, “It is also interesting to note that most 10 year-old children with no known history of chickenpox are actually immune.

      A study in Quebec, Canada, involving 2,000 fourth graders was done to determine the proportion of children who would need to be vaccinated in a “catch-up” program.

      Of the youngsters with negative or unknown chickenpox histories, 63 percent had antibodies against the virus, presumably from having had such a mild case that they didn’t even realize they had it. This isn’t terribly surprising given that healthy children occasionally have minimal symptoms (such as a low fever and headache), without manifestation of blisters, indistinguishable from a mild case of the flu.” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/11/02/chicken-pox-vaccine-creates-shingles-epidemic.aspx

      • Patti says:

        Heather…I have four children and my oldest is almost 11. None of my children have ever had the chicken pox and we do no vaccines. It never crossed my mind to worry about it…should I?

        • Heather says:

          Hi Patti! I really don’t know what to say about this. On the one hand I think children who are raised on traditional diets that grow up and happen to get it as adults would most likely be fine. However, my concern is about daughters who grow up and don’t have immunity when they’re pregnant. Chances are they won’t get the pox, but because of the slight possibility that it could happen I am going to try to make sure Katie gets the pox. Even then it is not a guarantee, though. With more and more kids being vax’d our natural “boosters” are waning. I’ll probably recommend that she checks her titers when she gets married and thinks about having a baby. I guess what I”m saying is there is no clear cut answer to you your question, sorry!

          • Amy says:

            Thanks for such an informative article!! That would be my concern too — for my daughter for both chicken pox and rubella, as well. I hope I can find someone with pox during their childhood — they are 2 1/2 and 6 mths now. Thanks, again :)

  95. Tanya says:

    I didn’t read all the comments so someone might have already asked this, but it appears to me that your death rate will be much lower if you have the vaccine than if you have chicken pox? I understand the other adverse effects and the other reasons for not getting the vaccine, but that statistic might be why they are pushing the vaccine. Or am I reading it wrong?

  96. Evelyn Fridley Hemming via FB says:

    FYI….I somehow escaped chicken pox through my growing up years then had them as an adult at age 22. I was so miserable I wanted to die. Get it over with or vaccinate.

  97. Kris says:

    My 4 year old and 1 year old both had chicken pox recently. SULPHUR homeopathic tablets provided AMAZING relief from the itching and general discomfort. Far more effective than the oatmeal baths, or calamine lotion.

  98. Rachel says:

    My kids all got chicken pox within 2 months of moving to France (at the time they were 3, 2, and 8 months old). The 8 month old was still nursing so that’s a strike against the “protected until they’re weaned” argument, but they all pulled through just fine and I was happy that they had it as small kids.

    • Heather says:

      Possibly, but part of my argument is that people should gain natural immunity as children that gets “boosted” over time through repeated exposure. I had pox as a child but due to the vaccination rate I suspect my immunity could be fading :( So interesting that your littles got it after leaving the mostly vax’d U.S. – is the pox vaccine popular in France?

  99. I had the opportunity once to do a pox party for my children and I declined. I would do so again.

  100. Kim says:

    My 18 yo had the pox when he was 18months old. After that, the vaccine came out and my next two kids were vaccinated (I didn’t know any different and for them, at the time, they were my foster kids(since adopted by me) and I wasn’t allowed to deny vaccinations anyway.) I’m pretty sure my daughter had them when she was 5 (she is one of the vaccinated ones) after she entered public school, not a major case but enough bumps to make me think that’s what was going on. My two birth sons (now 6 and 5) had the vaccination (again, didn’t know any different). I’d like for them to have the pox as it just seems surer than the vaccine (my pediatrician even said it wasn’t a “for sure” thing that they wouldn’t develop it anyway).

    Like everyone else, it seems close to impossible to find anyone who actually *has* it now to expose the boys to it. I had it myself as a child (around age 3). My husband had it as a child *and* as an adult when his children had it. A friend at church has now had shingles twice.

    So frustrating all the way around! If I knew what I know now, none of my kids would have had the vaccine. But you can’t undo what’s been done….

  101. Nina says:

    Yup, I exposed my son. It was winter when the first of our friends got it and no one could really get together for a party, but we did a playdate with 2 friends who had it. And then we shared the love with my niece and nephew! My son was 6 and he tolerated it very well. Dr. Lauren Feder (who has a great book called “The Parent’s Concise Guide to Childhood Vaccinations) also has a book on natural baby and child care. She went over 5 or 6 of the most common homeopathic remedies and what symptoms they are used for and I had those on hand after the exposure, as well as slippery elm, sage and oatmeal. I dusted slippery elm and sage on the sores and let my son decide when he wanted the baths (he picked 3 in one day and after 2 or 3 days he didn’t want any). It was helpful knowing when he was exposed because I had decided what I wanted to treat him with (or what I was most likely to treat him with……illnesses don’t always respond the way we want them to!) and then I had it all on hand since the incubation period is several weeks before the disease appears. And then you can more easily notice little changes that he/she is getting sick and be more likely to keep the child at home so he/she doesn’t transmit the disease during the early contagion period before the pox show up.

  102. Dave, RN says:

    We did a pox party. This was back in the mid/late 90′s. Vaccinations wear off and you DON’T want chickin po as an adult!

  103. Dusty says:

    When do they usually get the booster?

  104. [...] Is infused with lavender, mint and a smidge of E. Coli, but to mix things up I sometimes custom blend a batch of lemongrass and staphylococcus aureus. Now, if you are new here you might think this is strange, but really it’s nothing. I also let my kids eat dirt, believe the occasional fever is beneficial, and am actively looking for a way to give my kids the chicken pox.  [...]

  105. Virginia says:

    If anyone in New England area has a pox party, count my kids in in PLEASE! Seriously, e-mail me!! would love a pox pop from someone far away LOL! I can’t believe I have to drive down the street and see multiple lawn signs by our local drugstore saying “get your shingles vaccine HERE.” RIDICULOUS!

  106. [...] I’m not phobic about viruses (to say the least), but I find it disturbing that such a radical approach to food safety was FDA-approved without [...]

  107. Tara McGinnis says:

    any suggestions on how to find other kids to expose mine to?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Tara! Heather shared a tip you might find helpful “Looking for the pox? Search yahoo groups and google groups and join the groups for your area. Fall and winter ate the busiest months for pox.”

  108. [...] sure I believe myself anymore. I came across this awesome post from The Mommypotamus this morning: Pox Parties: Proven Immunization or Russian Roulette? I have heard about Pox Parties, but never really considered it before reading this! It all makes [...]

  109. Lydia says:

    Is there a difference in getting the chicken pox from someone with chicken pox and getting them from an adult with shingles?

  110. Emily says:

    What an interesting discussion…. I am one of nine children and we all had regular chicken pox as young children. My father is a pediatric ER doctor and has done thousands of hours of research on this and other vaccine related topics. He does not believe in the varicella vaccine or the flu vaccine. So I jut follow his advice on these issues. He truly believes in the efficacy of other vaccines though. All nine of us were fully vaccinated as children an my toddler is fully vaccinated. I like this blog and I think the research is quite thorough but most of the people reading it do not have a remembrance on the horrors of polio, measles, meningitis, and other life threatening diseases. I in fact have a real problem with the fact that in our church about half of the toddler are completely unvaccinated. We had a lovely rotavirusnoutbreak among the unvaccinated children. I will not put my child or any of my future babies in there because if there ever was an outbreak of something really serious, it would spread like wildfire.

  111. Chelsea says:

    How can we create a place or site or page for ppl to share if their kids have it so we can spread it? I really would like my children to have it but it just seems so rare now

  112. Megan says:

    Thanks for posting this…I have doing a lot of research on vaccines lately as we are expecting our first baby and trying to figure out what to do about vaccines. Do you think this concept applies to other childhood illnesses for which children are typically immunized against?

  113. Lan says:

    This question has always been weighing on my mind. I am completely against the chicken pox vaccine. I would be thrilled (well, make it “try to be thrilled”) if my daughter is exposed naturally. However, I’m not so sure about intentionally expose her. The reason lies in Reason #2 you listed above. The situation you described was more true in the past than now, when many (if not most, here in North America) children are vaccinated against chicken pox, which means no natural boosters for adults who have had chicken pox earlier in their lives, which, in turn, seems to me to mean more risk of shingles later in life.
    Given that, I’m not sure why I should not skip both the vaccine and the pox parties for my little girl.

  114. I’m glad I never had to contemplate pox parties. Our 8-month old daughter got the chicken pox first (don’t know where from) and then our 2 1/2 year old contracted it from her. I was happy to get it over with young. Honestly, I think it bothered them less than the flu or an extended cold would. They had a fever for a very short time and the itchy bumps lasted for about a week. They played normally the whole time, so it wasn’t as hard of an experience as I would have imagined.

  115. Caroline M. says:

    How would I even go about finding a pox party???

  116. Emily says:

    Here is my question. Many of you say vaccines are ineffective. But then you say you want to bring your child to a pox party but can’t find kids with chicken pox anymore. If vaccines don’t work then shouldn’t you be able to find a bunch of kids with chicken pox?

    • Lan says:

      I personally opt out of this particular vaccine because I think the benefits, if any, do not outweigh the risks, since chicken pox is usually not a serious illness. Not because the particular vaccine is ineffective.
      On second thought, for me it’s the case with most other vaccines too. So what if vaccines ARE effective? Do I want to prevent those diseases at THOSE costs (e.g. all the toxins and potentially harmful stuff in them, the risks of irreversible reactions, etc.)?
      Also, I believe many people say (many) vaccines are ineffective because EVEN IF they do prevent the diseases in the short term, they don’t confer lifetime immunity (like contracting the diseases naturally) and you would have to keep getting boosters (and all the yucky stuff that goes with them).
      Just my thoughts.

  117. [...] Pox Parties: Proven Immunization Or Russian Roulette? [...]

  118. Kimberly couey says:

    So I cringe and just want to curl up and cry knowing I have my daughter this vaccine.
    It was honestly before I even questioned the typical vaccine practices.
    What can/should I do knowing my daughter has been vaccinated?

  119. Michele H says:

    My 5 yr old son was fully vaccinated until age two, when I learned better about vaccines. He did have the Varicella vaccine but he will not be having any further doses of it (CDC recommends between 4-6) or any vaccines. Could he benefit from a pox party? I would rather he catch it now and get lifetime immunity as a child than catch it as an adult. Thoughts?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Michele! Since I am not a medical professional I am unable to give opinions regarding specific situations. I can recommend the doctor I would consult, though! Dr. Thomas Cowan sits on the board of the Weston A. Price Foundation – his website is http://fourfoldhealing.com/

  120. Thanks so much for this information! I agree 100%. I have had doctors try to scare me into getting my kids vaccinated by saying how dangerous chicken pox are. Silly! I remember having them as a kid. My sister had them twice. It was not bad at all. Everyone had it as a kid when I was young, and nobody had complications.

  121. Penny says:

    My mom and me had chicken pox at the same time, my sister shortly after we got it. My mom never had the pox as a kid, and in her late 20s when she finally had the pox, she was severely ill for longer than both of her kids, and years after the fact, she has let it slip, that she lost a pregnancy then. Especially with the tie-in with risks to unborn children, and shingles (a disease I had never heard of until I moved stateside from Europe) for vaccinated patients, I’m more determined than ever to tolerate the pox in my kids. I understand vaccinations against viral infections like polio, whopping cough and smallpox, but if it isn’t life-threatening, or not quite that common, and doesn’t carry a major risk of permanent disability, me suffering a little inconvenience to obtain long term immunity for my child makes more sense to me.

    This phenomenon was evident when I contracted H1N1 before vaccines were available for the virus. I had no flu or cold for 2 years (!) after suffering through the feared Swine Flu, neither did a couple of friends who had caught the same bug. Vaccinated colleagues and friends caught every consecutive wave of respiratory infections, each worse than the other. Somehow, being really sick for 4 days (plus an additional 2 weeks quarantine, boy were they paranoid when it was a “new” disease) was better for me than getting vaccinated and feeling a little wobbly for a couple of weeks. I do take vaccination boosters, but I try to approach the regime with common sense, and some restraint.

    The blog post struck a chord with me more than I thought. My kids may have a higher risk for complications with chicken pox vaccinations, as I have congenital thrombocytopenia, or the blood disorder mentioned as a vaccination side-effect, and I thought I’d share some experiences, that the disease comes with.

    Essentially it means, that my blood platelet count is low, and slows or outright prevents clotting. The problem was known from when I was a baby on, as I had frequent, severe nosebleeds (I have one tonsil left, as they couldn’t finish my tonsillectomy due to excessive bleeding. They didn’t really believe my mom about my bleeding problems in the 80s in an European hospital), and once my periods started, my periods lasted 9-10 days in stead of the “average” of 4-5. First being on the pill, and later an IUD helped the periods, but I had other complications, so I can’t be on any hormonal treatment that would decrease bleeding – an IUD was the only FDA approved treatment for heavy menses last time I saw an infomercial for them.

    I can keep my bleeding issues in check with my diet these days. Turns out my diet of no red meat was hurting my blood. Adding a burger night on the weekends and changing out what types of fat we eat decreased my need for medication to the point where I take a multivitamin per day, in stead of a small fistful of pills per meal. I still need medication prior to surgery, or after trauma, but at least I can live without pills in my daily routine. Because of my bleeding issues, I will most likely be deemed a high risk pregnancy, so for liability reasons for medical providers, I suspect I have to deliver in a hospital with capacity to deal with complications.

    My clotting issues are exacerbated by my blood type and it renders me in effect “allergic” to NSAIDs, and as a shocker, in June last year, I found out my last “safe” OTC pain relief, acetaminophen, specifically causes blood platelet counts to drop even further, a few days after exposure. In effect, finding that out explained the variation in my blood tests between visits to the doctor, depending on whether or not I had had a headache that required pills.

    I can live with this, but it makes life complicated in small, annoying ways. They’re still on the fence on whether or not I have an underlying autoimmune issue or not.

    I’m not trying to sway anyone for or against vaccines, I just know that one of the potential side effects is a bloody mess, and annoying to deal with, compared to some pock marks and a few weeks of your life spent tending to a sick kid. Ultimately, it’s a parent’s choice, but I prefer the lower risk for lifetime complications.

  122. I don’t know if I would do a pox party or not. Neither of my kids have had chicken pox yet, but the older one is immunized and the younger one isn’t. I’ve have to think on this… Thanks for such a thought-provoking post!

  123. Celeste says:

    I went to school with the chicken pox. I did not want to miss school so I did not tell my mama about the rash on the bottom of my foot. One week later most kids in my class was out with the pox.

  124. eva says:

    maybe not a party but i am looking for it. my neighbor had them, but my oldest was less than a year old and they say it doesnt work then.
    the nurses giving vaccines (i don’t know what that place is called in english) said that i won’t anyone, and that nowadays there are complications, and even that one girl got a flesh-eating bug into one of the scabs. which could happen in any scab, no?

  125. Mikayla says:

    I’m wondering why you’ve listed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) as a brain disorder. GBS is a case where the body’s white blood cells attack the myelin sheath of the nerves (and sometimes the nerve underneath itself is damaged.) It is triggered by a variety of things, including viruses, and the body apparently confuses the cells of the nerve coatings with the problematic cells. It’s the body’s immune system gone rogue. It’s kinda like an acute type of immuno-demyelinating neuropathy.

    GBS risk is heightened by having the smallpox vaccine twice, too. You can also get it from regular viruses naturally transmitted. Another risk factor is gut-related, such as food poisoning, it seems. Basically, viral or bacterial infections are the known triggers. Transverse Myelitis is associated with the chickenpox vaccine, but it is also associated with the varicella zoster virus in general, herpes simplex, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr, influenza, echovirus, HIV, hepatitis A, and rubella. Bacterial skin infections, middle-ear infections and bacterial pneumonia have also been associated with the condition. It is also associated as a complication of syphilis, measles, Lyme disease. So yes, you are increasing your child’s risk of transverse myelitis by giving the chickenpox vaccine, but your child can also get it from naturally contracted chickenpox, or even just “cold sores” (herpes simplex). If you wanted to minimize the risk of your child getting a paralyzing auto-immune/neuropathic disorder, you’d want to avoid exposing them to varicella – whether through vaccinations or pox parties.

    While GBS is studied in neurology departments, calling it a brain disorder doesn’t effectively indicate its physical effects for a lay audience. It’s being cooperatively studied in neurology, virology and immunology departments. Both GBS and transverse myelitis are better described in terms of their effects: physical weakness that may never fully recover, and temporary paralysis. They don’t affect the patient’s brain functions, or cause any mental confusion etc.

  126. eska says:

    Has anyone heard of a pox party in Mass lately? We are trying to find one. thanks eska

  127. […] is packed with a bunch of toxic additives that can actually cause more harm than good. According to this article, the rate injury from vaccines is actually higher that the pre-vaccine fatality rate from the […]

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