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Deaths from chickenpox down
July 25th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Deaths from chickenpox down

Deaths from chickenpox (the varicella virus) have dropped 97 percent in adolescents and children since the use of the vaccine began in 1995, new analysis shows.

"I think there's certainly the potential for very little disease in the future and very few deaths if we are to fully implement and maintain that program," said Jane Seward, deputy director, Division of Viral Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study appears in journal Pediatrics. Researchers from the CDC looked at data from 1990 to 2007.

"Every kid did get chickenpox and, in the pre-vaccine era, there were 3-4 million cases a year," Seward said. "What people may not have realized, every year, about 105 people died of chickenpox. About half of those were children and about 11,000-12,000 were hospitalized with severe complications. We started preventing the disease to really prevent those very serious complications."

Among adults younger than 50, the decline was 96 percent; overall, the decline was 88 percent.  Seward pointed out that adults get more serious chickenpox than children and also need two doses of the vaccine.

"They have about twenty times higher risk of dying from chickenpox than children do. So it is really important for adults who haven't had chickenpox to get the vaccine."

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soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. pumpedup

    This is very good news. I hope the anti-vaccine people read this. While I support their right to refuse, collectively they help to spread these diseases to other children who are not yet vaccinated.

    July 25, 2011 at 06:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • blondegeisha

      As an individual who contracted chicken pox as an adult at age 37(while taking care of three toddlers at the same time who also had them),the vaccine must certainly be a God send. I wouldn't wish them on anyone.

      July 25, 2011 at 07:37 | Report abuse |
    • LRoy

      SOURCE-www.cogforlife.org

      Chickenpox vaccine is made with aborted fetal tissue. Thankfully I had chickenpox when I was six years old (1968).

      July 25, 2011 at 08:37 | Report abuse |
    • Will

      LRoy, if you really believe this, I am pleased to tell you that it is an outright lie. There is not even a kernel of truth to it. If you are just being a troll, then stop. You're not being helpful.

      July 25, 2011 at 08:59 | Report abuse |
    • Cleopatra1981

      Will, the chickenpox vaccine IS cultured on lung tissue of aborted fetuses, research further before you comment.

      July 25, 2011 at 09:09 | Report abuse |
    • LRoy

      Will-YOU are the one in denial. I suppose you fully support abortion too.

      http://www.cogforlife.org/vaxproof.htm

      http://www.cogforlife.org/fetalvaccinetruth.htm

      July 25, 2011 at 09:09 | Report abuse |
    • Aezel

      Sounds like good use of human tissue to me. Thousands if not millions of lives saved. I know you right wing nutjobs like to stick your head in the sand and cry JEBUS, but the reality is that the human body is becoming part of the field of engineering. Scientists did not have someone abort a baby specifically to use tissue, but if it is gonna happen hell yes we should at least get some improvement in the human condition from it.

      40-50 years from now I suspect most people will be primarily hybridized with synthetic cellular augmentation. Those of you that want to get on your soapbox can just be left behind on the sidelines of history. I personally suspect most people under the age of 50 right now will live several hundred years at minimum.

      July 25, 2011 at 09:39 | Report abuse |
    • Mama2KOA

      While yes, aborted fetal tissue is used, it's from an aborted fetus in the 60's. They only need a small amount of tissue and then the vaccine replicates itself.

      And if that saves my sons life – were he to get chicken pox, then so be it.

      July 25, 2011 at 09:47 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      You're confusing "fetal tissue" with a cell line developed from fetal tissue. The vaccines are developed using human cell lines. These cell lines were derived from fetal tissue, but a fetus is not aborted every time they need to make vaccine.
      BTW- aborted fetuses are not the only possible source of fetal tissue, the cells could easily have been taken from a miscarriage.
      Regardless, to say that you shouldn't get the vaccine for yourself or your kids because of this is just insane. The fetus has been dead for years, they aren't killing any more to make your vaccine, and it could save your life.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:04 | Report abuse |
    • Crowded

      But hang on a minute.. 100 lives are saved that might have been lost due to chicken pox, but the last statistic I read said 840 deaths per year are attributable to the vaccine itself. They say it isn't directly the vaccine, but anaphylaxis brought on by the vaccine. Splitting hairs if you ask me. So we have a net loss of 700 lives. Hmm...

      July 25, 2011 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Please provide a source for your claim that 840 people die per year from the varicella vaccine. I find that number shockingly absurd, and would love it if you could back it up. The CDC website says that anaphylaxis occurs at 2.2 per 100,000 varicella vaccines administered, so 38 million people each year would have to receive the vaccine for 840 people to even develop anaphylaxis; the mortality rate of anaphylaxis is 0.7-2% (emedicine.com), so 50 people need to develop anaphylaxis for one to die.

      But if you have a source that says otherwise then please provide it.

      July 25, 2011 at 14:24 | Report abuse |
    • Ken R

      "Crowded" is either relying on VAERS reports, or quack websites like ChildHealthSafety or whale.to .

      The varicella vaccine is given three times before the age of 18. Once to one year olds, once to 4-6 years olds, and a booster after age 7. That adds up to roughly 12 million doses given out in the US each year. At a rate of 2.2 / 100,000, that means less than 300 annual cases of ana-shock from varicella vaccine.

      July 25, 2011 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
    • Rachel Humphrey

      I am Anti Vaccine and I read this and wonder than why they hell are we putting these children through this... We should be Vaccinating the Adults . My Thinking is if they even WONDER if the Vaccine causes anything in children and they are not the ones we're protecting than they shouldn't be getting it. Everyone goes we're protecting them from getting it because it can kill them when in fact from this information most cases aren't children but adults and adult will likely handle the vaccine better. so why not wait until they are at least 16 before giving the Vaccine.

      April 16, 2014 at 11:17 | Report abuse |
  2. Dave

    What of the case for paediatric shingles? While the vaccine is still fairly new has there been a rise in this? My understanding is that while vaccines tend to work well the body's natural immune response to naturally occurring varicella is better protection. Is there a chance of this weakened exposure to the vaccine doing more harm later in a child's life?

    Regardless, of all the bugs to attack with a vaccine program, stopping ~100 deaths and ~7000-9000 hospitalizations a year seems rather minor doesn't it? Are there not bigger fish to fry?

    July 25, 2011 at 06:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Your remarks are worded to sound intelligent but your conjecture is clearly evident.

      July 25, 2011 at 07:01 | Report abuse |
    • LRoy

      SOURCE-www.cogforlife.org

      Shingles is also made with aborted fetal tissue. I cannot and WILL NOT have Shingles vaccine until an ethical vaccine is manufactured. If I die from it, so what?

      July 25, 2011 at 08:39 | Report abuse |
    • RationalThinker

      100 deaths is minor? Wow, I bet you wouldn't say that if it was your child who died of this very real, dangerous disease.

      July 25, 2011 at 08:43 | Report abuse |
    • happymomto7

      105 out of 3-4 million is minor.

      July 25, 2011 at 09:15 | Report abuse |
    • Aezel

      If you die from it LRoy I hate to burst your bubble but a magical invisible man in the sky made up by barbaric goat herders 2000 years ago is not going to come and take you to a never ending theme park in the sky.

      July 25, 2011 at 09:42 | Report abuse |
    • Joel

      Yes, 100 deaths is minor compared to the huge cost and complications associated with this vaccine. It hardly seems reasonable to assume that any expenditure, no matter how great, is justified for any benefit, no matter how small. I refuse to worship at the altar of the safety god.

      July 25, 2011 at 09:43 | Report abuse |
    • Jean

      105 deaths may not seem like much but how about the 12,000 hospitalizations. That's a significant health care cost!

      July 25, 2011 at 10:06 | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Depending on what study you read, the vaccine falls a bit short (financially) when factoring in the hospitalization costs of caring for these cases vs production/administration of the vaccine. The cost-savings financial benefit is potentially in the decrease in parental work absences from staying at home with these kids. Multiple studies have looked at this but the "best" way to measure economic output of a missed day at work is controversial in this issue. However, to me the debate is between strong cost-effectiveness and borderline cost-saving, which, coupled with decreased hospitalizations and deaths, makes the vaccine worthwhile.

      July 25, 2011 at 14:36 | Report abuse |
  3. Ryan

    Dave you are extremely ignorant. Vaccines trigger the exact same immune response as the disease because the vaccines are made from either dead or weakened cells of the particular disease. To make it simple so you will understand: they take a live chicken pox virus and kill it or beat the crap out of it to the point where it can't harm you. Then they inject it into your body and your immune system builds antibodies to it. So the next time you encounter the virus in the real world your body is already prepared to fight it off. Vaccines simply give your body a big head start in fighting off disease. And yes, there are bigger fish to fry and scientists are working very hard to find vaccines for those diseases as well. You need to remember the world consists of more than just our country. Worldwide vaccines have saved MILLIONS of lives. If you want to be one of the few dinks who risks dying from a simple disease like chicken pox go for it. Also, do the rest of the world a favor and stop trying to use lame and very ill-informed knowledge to convince people vaccines are not necessary. Vaccines are like seat belts they save lives, end of story.

    July 25, 2011 at 07:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark

      Not only is Dave spot on, but the truth of the current juvenile Shingles epidemic is being completely played down.

      Before 1995 the vast majority of Shingles cases my fellow physicians and I saw in our practices (a 34 year practice in my case) were 99% in the elderly, female population with a compromised immune system. From 1995 until the present, we have seen an absolute epidemic of juvenile cases.

      Nearly all immediately (with in 2 weeks) following the Varicella vaccine being administered to the patient. And the statistic of 3-4 million cases a year having 50 deaths a year is in any competent physicians opinion, a completely negligible impact. I am willing to bet my house that nearly all 50 juvenile deaths had several underlying causes aside form Varicella.

      July 25, 2011 at 08:21 | Report abuse |
    • LisaG

      Thank you for a physician's viewpoint Mark, it's nice to know that my doctor isn't the only one who feels this way. I did not give this vaccine to my children as it is not mandatory in Canada and I thought it was ridiculous to even have one for children that are not within a risk group to start with (i.e no underlying conditions). The lack of long-term clinical data is a little worrisome too as nobody knows exactly how long the vaccine lasts for and when a booster is required into adulthood.

      July 25, 2011 at 08:25 | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      I absolutely agree with allowing the natural immune system to do it's job if possible. Certainly this vaccine is useful for children and adults with compromised immune systems or worrisome medical issues, but I did not allow my children to get the vaccine. They both have had chicken pox and are now naturally immune. My pediatrician told me that this vaccine would need periodic boosters throughout the person's life which shows that it does NOT inspire the same natural immune response that the disease does. I know many adults who do not follow through on their checkups and updated tetanus shots. Why should I assume that all adults will follow through with the varicella booster? This would make the adult more likely to contract a deadly case of chicken pox if exposed. I respect the rights of others to have their opinions. This is mine.

      July 25, 2011 at 08:39 | Report abuse |
    • LRoy

      Mark-as you are in the medical field, I would recommend you contact the manufacture of the Shingles vaccine. As a pro-life devout Catholic, I cannot in good conscience receive a vaccine that is made with aborted fetal tissue. I cannot and WILL NOT contribute to the culture of death advocating aborting pre-born humans just for the sake of science.
      When an ethical vaccine is manufactured, I will get it. I'd rather have the disease than risk my losing my soul, thank you very much.
      Please go to http://www.cogforlife.org for more information.

      July 25, 2011 at 08:45 | Report abuse |
  4. Arrenn

    Dave –
    If you don't get chicken pox you will never get shingles. Shingles come when the varicella-zoster virus reactivates later. Why would shingles increase? That doesn't make sense.

    July 25, 2011 at 07:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LisaG

      The varicella-zoster virus can lay dormant, hence the ability to develop shingles. Also, in order for adults who contracted chicken pox as children to maintain their natural immunity, they need exposure to wild chicken pox to give them that booster (so to speak). If children are systematically being vaccinated, adults are at risk for shingles or a recurrance of chicken pox. Neither of my children were vaccinated, and both contracted chicken pox and as a result have guaranteed immunity. The varicella vaccine is one of the least effective vaccines, which is why many children still get chicken pox even though they've been vaccinated. My doctor does not recommend it based on lack of long term data along.

      July 25, 2011 at 08:22 | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      My original post wasn't meant to sway people from getting the vaccine but I was asking honest questions hoping to get the professional opinion of clinical staff. Thankfully one clinician has come through – thank you, Mark!

      There are always two sides to every coin. Here is another tidbit after some self-education. It seems that because there is less chicken pox virus in the wild our ageing population is getting hit hard with shingles as well. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/591975 is a paper which outlines this, the rising numbers in cases, as well as associated costs. It seems that without this virus being plentiful people are losing their natural immunity to it as your system has nothing to 'update' it.

      Again, I'm not saying don't get the vaccine, but that it is to early to tell if it is actually worth it. Yes, chicken pox is terrible to have and watch loved ones struggle with, but the mortality rate vs. cases of incidences is so low that I wonder why governments decided to tackle this when we were doing just fine on our own.

      We currently vaccinate against the flu each year. Each vaccination is essentially a crap shoot hoping that it will cover what will come that season. While it has shown to be effective still thousands (3000 – 49000) die each year from it in the US alone. I've no idea if this number has gone down or up or how much the strain of flu from one particular year plays into this.

      July 25, 2011 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
  5. adrianne lukas

    This is great news! A lot of people are worried of this chicken pox craze. It's nice to know that the mortality rate decreased. Let's all stay healthy!

    http://honmedspa.com

    July 25, 2011 at 08:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LRoy

      Go to http://www.cogforlife.org for the REAL issue with the vaccine.

      July 25, 2011 at 08:51 | Report abuse |
  6. Mindy

    Dave-

    I guess it isn't such a big deal if it isn't YOUR child dying or in the hospital. My 5 month old was in the hospital over the 4th of July for chicken pox so my opinion is quite different. She's ok now, but I can tell you that while she was sick there certainly wasn't "bigger fish to fry".

    July 25, 2011 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LRoy

      I'm sorry that your child was sick, and over the holiday sucks and I'm glad that she is better now but you should know what the vaccines are made of. Please visit http://www.cogforlife.org to find out what's in your child's NEXT series of shots!

      July 25, 2011 at 08:53 | Report abuse |
    • Lani

      I am very sorry to hear she was sick also, but I've seen a lot of kids getting the chickenpox AFTER having the vaccine too. We should be given a choice because they are our kids. I don't want to worry about my kids getting it later in life because this vaccine wears off every few years...

      July 25, 2011 at 09:55 | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Lani- I agree with you. I am refusing the vaccine as long as I can (in my state, my kids have to have it before they can go to school). I told my Dr if he could tell me how long the vaccine was good for, my kids could have it. He couldn't tell me. Right now all kids need two doses– ok fine. Are they going to need another booster in five more years and another after that and another after that and so on?? My kids are too precious to be a science experiment!!!! I want them to get the chickenpox just so its over and I don't have to worry about what this sticking vaccine is going to do to them.

      July 25, 2011 at 15:09 | Report abuse |
  7. CJ

    This past spring, 3 (out of 4) of my kids all had the chicken pox. It was awful!!! They all had their vaccinations - I was very surprised to see them covered in spots! Hopefully my youngest child won't get them as well.

    July 25, 2011 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cleopatra1981

      There is your proof, vaccines don't work 100% of the time.

      July 25, 2011 at 08:27 | Report abuse |
    • LRoy

      I had chickenpox decades ago and I survived. Sure, you're miserable for a couple of weeks (I had mumps the same year). If you knew what the vaccine was made of, I'd rather the children suffer physically for awhile then eternity for contributing to the abortion industry. Please visit http://www.cogforlife.org for more information.
      Pro-life Catholic.

      July 25, 2011 at 08:55 | Report abuse |
    • Craig

      Of course not..... by definition vaccines are not 100% full proof, for example I got the flu after receiving the flu shot. Seat belts also don't guarantee you will survive a car accident, but ya know what, I still wear mine.

      And LRoy, thank you for trolling every single post with your inaccurate website that posts only the tiny fraction of the facts that support its philosophy to insinuate that vaccines are part of some Satanic ritual.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:06 | Report abuse |
    • Ken R

      The Catholic Church has already said the good of vaccination outweighs the use of cells whose derivation from fetal tissues is separated by many years, and that these cells should not prevent Catholics from being vaccinated.

      July 25, 2011 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
  8. Cleopatra1981

    Again, big Pharma pushing a vaccine for a benign childhood disease, unbelievable!!! Most complications from childhood diseases or from a simple flu come from medial interventions, a simple fever reducer will stop the body's natural response to fight a bug.

    Arrenn, the incidence of shingles increasing is very true. Shingles (in people who already had the chickenpox) is prevented by exposure to wild chickenpox, it works like a booster. The less incidences of wild chickepox, the less booters for people prone to shingles. Injecting children with the vaccine makes them prone to pediatric shingles.

    Before anyone gives an opinion about vaccines, they should research the issue inside and out. There are issues with side effects, effectiveness, future auto-immune diseases, and so on. Vaccines are not 100% effective (says so on the packet insert), why risk a vaccine side effect for something that may or may not work?

    July 25, 2011 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mike

      wow, did you do your dissertation on this while getting your phd in immunology and microbiology?

      July 25, 2011 at 08:45 | Report abuse |
    • LRoy

      Cleo dear, please go to http://www.cogforlife.org for more information on ethical and unethical vaccines. I too must be very careful what vaccines I have, not only for allergic reactions (I can't have tetanus-but my immune is high enough) but also what the vaccines are actually made of.

      July 25, 2011 at 08:57 | Report abuse |
    • Cleopatra1981

      mike, I don't need a PhD to be well educated on the vaccine issue. EVERYONE should educate themselves on any medical procedure/injection/intervention.

      LRoy, I am well aware that some vaccines are made of the lung tissue of aborted fetuses.

      July 25, 2011 at 09:05 | Report abuse |
    • LRoy

      Cleo-you are the queen in my book. Much love!

      July 25, 2011 at 09:14 | Report abuse |
    • mike

      um yeah maybe not a phd, but an undergrad in some molecular biology field. You have no credibility to say your facts on vaccines or some facts on any website are credible. You should show me peer reviewed journal research since if you had a science degree you would know.

      July 25, 2011 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
  9. AlfieDuke

    I live in the UK and here no-one vaccinates against chickenpox, it is seen as a mild disease that all kids get. Just recently 7 of my daughter's class had school had it and all the mums wanted their younger siblings to catch it too and get it out of the way. There is never any reporting in the press about kids dying of chickenpox – is the UK death rate from chickenpox higher per head than the USA then?

    July 25, 2011 at 08:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Spockette

      AlfieDuke:

      We knew those as "chicken pox parties" here. My oldest daughter contracted chicken pox when she was four years old and her younger sister followed suit about ten days later (made for a very nice christmas/new year's holiday for this family). The two of them had hundreds of pox sores. They were absolutely miserable. My sons did not contract chicken pox before starting Kindergarden even after several exposures, therefore, I opted to have them vaccinated as the disease itself would keep them out of school if they happened to contract it during the school year rather than their vacation time.

      I do want to raise a point regarding "childhood shingles". Shingles usually occur when the body's immune system is weakened or during times of great stress. Children are not well equipped to identify that they are stressed, so I do wonder about the pressures on children who are suffering shingles ........

      July 25, 2011 at 09:54 | Report abuse |
  10. Common Sense

    Had chickenpox in preschool I remember being covered in kolomine lotion well...

    July 25, 2011 at 08:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. KaTruti

    My daughter got chickenpox before the vaccine, and I had a gauge to how bad it can get. When the vaccine came out I was relieved that my son wouldn't have to go through it. About 6 weeks later he got them anyway, but a VERY mild case in comparison, Does a weaker vaccine prevent the complications of the severe cases? I would bet it does, long-term evidence will come, just like with the HPV vaccine (less people with cervical cancer).

    July 25, 2011 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LRoy

      You really need to visit http://www.cogforlife.org to be informed on what is being vaccinated into your child. There are many unethical vaccines being manufactured that anyone who is against abortion should not get unless literally in a life or death situation (i.e. you get bit by a rabid animal). That's it.

      July 25, 2011 at 09:01 | Report abuse |
    • Cleopatra1981

      KaTruti,

      Please read and educate yourself before you inject your kid/s witht he HPV vaccine.

      July 25, 2011 at 09:01 | Report abuse |
  12. RationalThinker

    LRoy, I think I speak for all rational people when I tell you that I will get my facts and science from scientists and not some whackadoodle religious website. I don't care what your imaginary friend thinks. Vaccines save lives. The only unethical situation is when people refuse to vaccinate their children and other people die as a result.

    July 25, 2011 at 09:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dcarlos

      The problem with vaccinated immunity against chickenpox is that it will not last forever and you will need to a booster or two in the future. How many people actually get and keep track of their boosters? (New England Journal of Medicine – look it up http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa064040)

      In twenty years there is going to be a large number of adults/elderly with no immunity and in higher risk than if they had caught it as children.

      I am not saying refusing the vaccine is the answer but the issue is a lot more complicated than it is often portrayed.

      July 25, 2011 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
  13. Harry McRae

    And if you're 60 years or older you should get the shot to protect against shingles (a by product of earlier infection with chickenpox).

    July 25, 2011 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LRoy

      I'm only (almost) 49. Hopefully there will be an ethical vaccine by the time I'm 60.

      July 25, 2011 at 09:18 | Report abuse |
  14. LRoy

    If you would take the time to actually call the people at http://www.cogforlife.org, I'm sure that they can provide you with information that is FROM scientists and the medical industry. Don't be stupid assume that the organization is strictly Catholic or religious. Unethical vaccines affects us all regardless of race or religion.

    July 25, 2011 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Aezel

      Let's see. Scientists who have done nothing but improve the quality and length of life for the human race vs. your Catholic Church that has done nothing but commit centuries of murders, infliction of suffering, and abuse of children by sick old men.

      I'd take the moral guidance of scientists any day over your house of horrors.

      July 25, 2011 at 09:48 | Report abuse |
    • tom

      Aezel, you must be joking if you think scientists have never been inhumane or unethical. You also have no common sense if you think it is not going on today. There has been a long history of unethical behavior by scientists. HeLa Cells, Mo cells, all unethically produced with greed as the main motivating factor. Horrific experiments done on African Americans and children. Today, we have Big Pharma employing tons of "scientists" buying out a doctor's better judgement. Too many things to mention. The Catholic church has a lot of demons in its past and still has unethical behavior going on today,but, they have also done a large amount of charitable work in desperate regions of the world. Scientists, it goes without saying, have made amazing contributions, but it has come at a high cost.

      July 25, 2011 at 10:03 | Report abuse |
    • Aezel

      I never claimed there were never any scientists who behaved unethically. Of course there are. There are a lot.

      However, my point was, the amount of good that science has done for the human race is astounding compared to the unethical behavior in that field.

      The Catholic Church however, HAS done some good things, but those good things are FAR outweighed by the ASTOUNDING amount of human suffering, abuse, stifling of knowledge, and misery that the religion has caused over the centuries.

      July 25, 2011 at 10:13 | Report abuse |
    • Bart Fargo

      Considering the number of people that have died over the years just so you can fill your car with gasoline, or stuff your mouth with tropical fruits, or use electronics containing rare earth metals, the fact that cells derived from fetal tissue were used in the development – not production – of this vaccine should be the least of your ethical concerns.

      July 25, 2011 at 10:20 | Report abuse |
  15. Lani

    I have a few small problems with this vaccine. First of all, when my son first had this vaccine in 2002, I was assured that this was a one time vaccine to prevent the chickenpox for the rest of his life. Later on we found out that one vaccine wasn't lasting but 3 or 4 years and he had to have another one.... then another one.... now it's up to at least 3 before the teen years. The original vaccine only delayed the chickenpox for a few years. It's much worse and more deadly when acquired as an adult. So it seems to me that it is more dangerous to get the vaccine when you are a child because it is just bumping it up into adulthood? Does anyone else see this problem? My son's classmates got the chickenpox AFTER having the vaccine because it wore off and they got chickenpox a few years later. I would rather my kids get the chickenpox and get it over with than to be 'shot up' every few years and perhaps make them vulnerable later. The government is not giving us a choice when it comes to entering school though. Not right!

    July 25, 2011 at 09:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cleopatra1981

      Lani,

      Every state has exemptions you can file with the school system / health department. There are three exemptions, medical, religious & philosophical, some states accept all three, some two of the three, check with your state.

      July 25, 2011 at 13:25 | Report abuse |
    • Ken R

      The idea behind herd immunity is that if enough children are vaccinated against chicken pox, then adults won't be at risk of getting the disease. It makes more sense than chicken pox parties, considering that the disease carries a small by real risk of massive organ failure, flesh eating bacteria diseases, and death.

      July 25, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse |
    • Lani

      Cleopatra1981
      There are NO exemptions in WV (where I live).

      July 25, 2011 at 20:53 | Report abuse |
  16. well

    My son had the vaccine and got the chickenpox a year later also.

    July 25, 2011 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cathy W

      That happened to my daughter, too. She got the wild-caught virus before she could get the second dose of the vaccine. But, her case of Chicken Pox was so minor, she wasn't even sick. No fever at all, she didn't feel bad, and her blisters reabsorbed instead of crusting over. I've been told that her immunity to the disease is probably greater due to having fought off the actual disease, but without the severe illness that can accompany having the actual disease. So... it might be a good thing the way it happened.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:53 | Report abuse |
  17. KAS

    Ok, let's get this nonsense over with. Not that anyone's mind will be changed but the facts need to be known.

    The chicken pox vaccine, in its current form, IS NOT made from fetal tissue. It is made from a culture, just like sourdough bread is made from a starter.

    The vaccine was made by taking a culture from a boy who had chickenpox. That culture was then used to produce a strain which was, not the word was, made using human embryo fibroblast cells, then transferred to cells from a guinea pig (yes, that phrase about being a guinea pig is real), then put back in human diploid cells.

    That was the way the vaccine was originally made. Today's vaccines are based on that original strain but are NO LONGER created in the same manner.

    If one wants to argue that because the original strain used cells from a fetus, go for it. But don't keep repeating lies that today's vaccines are made the same way.

    To quote a line from House, when a woman debates whether to let her husbands organs be used to save the life of someone else but her religion says they can't, "Religion just killed another person." If you want your kid to possibly die or have complications from a very preventable affliction because your religion dictates your life, you might want to reconsider your religion.

    July 25, 2011 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Bob Bubbles

    I only allowed my kids to have vaccines made from cows, since of course cows aren't holy in my belief system. We all know the Hindu stuff is made up, as is every religion but mine.

    Please visit http://www.codforlife.org for more information about the lifesaving properties of cod live oil.

    BB

    July 25, 2011 at 10:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. dcarlos

    The problem with vaccinated immunity against chickenpox is that it will not last forever and you will need to a booster or two in the future. How many people actually get and keep track of their boosters? (New England Journal of Medicine – look it up http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa064040)

    In twenty years there is going to be a large number of adults/elderly with no immunity and in higher risk than if they had caught it as children.

    I am not saying refusing the vaccine is the answer but the issue is a lot more complicated than it is often portrayed.

    July 25, 2011 at 10:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken R

      Where will those adults and elderly folks catch the disease? From unvaccinated children. With a vaccine readily available, there is no good excuse not to immunize.

      July 25, 2011 at 16:19 | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Ken R – where do unvaccinated kids catch the virus now-a-days?

      July 25, 2011 at 18:53 | Report abuse |
  20. lingfing

    For those who think that getting chickenpox gives you life-long immunity, I'm here to say it doesn't. I had chickenpox as a child and developed a severe case again in my 30s. It was followed immediately after by shingles (which means my earlier case of chickenpox really was chickenpox). I know of a child who died from flesh-eating disease that attacked him when he had chickenpox (and he had no pre-existing medical conditions) so don't console yourself that having healthy kids pre-exposure is going to guarantee they'll be fine.

    July 25, 2011 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cathy W

      Not that this is particularly helpful to you at this point, but just being exposed to it regularly will "re-charge" your immunity to it.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:49 | Report abuse |
  21. Erwin Alber

    No frigging needle nut is going to get anywhere near any child of mine with this or any other disgusting vaccine. As far as I am concerned, vaccination is an organised criminal enterprise dressed up as disease prevention.

    July 26, 2011 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Cathy W

    My daughter got both the vaccine AND the wild-caught virus (she caught the virus before she could get the subsequent doses), and due to the single shot she did get, the actual illness was so minor, I hesitate to even call it an illness. She got the blisters, but they reabsorbed before crusting over, and she never even had a fever, or even felt bad. Glad she got the one dose she did have, for that alone. When my brothers and I had it, and when my stepkiddo had it, we were all sick as hell. I turn down the subsequent doses of that particular vaccine now, which has gotten me labeled as anti-vaccine, which I'm most certainly not.

    July 26, 2011 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Cate

    What about the fact that the U.K. STOPPED giving children the chicken pox vaccine due to findings that they INCREASED the risk of shingles in older populations? See http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1032.aspx?CategoryID=62&SubCategoryID=63
    The U.S. frequently lags behind other countries when it comes to health and safety issues. For example. drop-sided cribs were banned in Europe looong before the U.S. caught on. I am generally in favor of vaccinations (and my 6 month-old has had all of her shots except for Hep. B, which I plan to give her when she has her HPV vaccinations when she's older), but I won't be giving her the chicken pox vaccine and wish U.S. health care professionals would pay more attention to research from and practices in other countries.

    July 27, 2011 at 10:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Rob

    Have the death rates in adults gone up since the use of the chicken pox vaccine? Unfortunatly in our community most of the kids getting chicken pox have been vaccinated and they are unable to pass it on to other unvaccinated children so they can build up a natural immunity. We know the number of children with Autiism spectrum disorder have gone up dramatically since the use of the chicken pox vaccine.

    August 1, 2011 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
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