Viewpoint: ‘Chickenpox parties’ aren’t just unnecessary—they’re incredibly dangerous

3-24-2019 emma morton
Image credit: Frances Klein

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin made headlines [March 19] after revealing in a radio interview that he had purposefully exposed his nine unvaccinated children to chickenpox, drawing swift condemnation from health experts.

In case anyone needs a refresher on why you shouldn’t deprive children of safe, potentially lifesaving vaccines or purposefully expose them to serious, potentially life-threatening infections, here’s a quick rundown.


Complications include nasty skin infections, pneumonia, brain inflammation, hemorrhaging, blood stream infections, and dehydration.

Of course, nearly all of this can be avoided because…

There are vaccines for this

The chickenpox vaccine—aka varicella vaccine—debuted in the US in 1995. It’s safe and highly effective. Two doses of it is up to 98 percent effective at preventing all forms of chickenpox.

Related article:  Crops engineered to destroy infected cells could fight off deadly diseases

This should make “chickenpox parties” obsolete, if not just dangerous

Vaccination protects vulnerable people, including those with who can’t get vaccines due to medical conditions or those who are immunocompromised. Even if the kids at the parties go on to have mild cases and fully recover—as was the case for Gov. Bevin’s children—the parties can keep the virus circulating.

Read full, original post: Why “chickenpox parties” are a terrible idea—in case it’s not obvious

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