In 1995 they came out with a vaccine, but unfortunately it’s only 90% effective in preventing chicken pox, and because it’s so new we don’t yet know how long the vaccine is good for. On the other hand it’s 100% effective in preventing severe cases. For this reason it has become a standard vaccine given at between 12-15 months. To enter school you have to prove your child has immunity through the vaccine or having had the illness. Because many people are wary of vaccines, and probably had such mild cases of chicken pox themselves, they would rather their children gain immunity through the illness. And thus we have the introduction of the Pox Party. Say what!?!?!
Yep, Pox Party
You want your kid to get chicken pox? Take them to a pox party where one of the children has chicken pox! It’s highly contagious, you know.
I’m not endorsing pox parties by any means, but I can see why some might find then enticing. While I’m definitely wary of vaccines, I have decided to vaccinate my child for all standard ones, on an alternative spread out schedule. Most recently, he just got his first MMR (which is what he was waiting for in the above photo), and we'll be back in a month for his chick pox vaccine. This is for the sake of my child as well as the community. Having a high enough percentage of people vaccinated in a population helps prevent outbreaks (and we are in the middle of an "outbreak" of measles here in NYC - there were 21 cases as of last week).
Think about all the babies and pregnant women and other immunocompromised people out there. I see vaccines as taking one for the team. But, to each her own and I don’t judge anyone on their decision to vaccinate or not, as long as they’ve done their research!
It also comes down to which kind of guilt I would feel less guilty about, in a worst possible case scenario. Frankly, I would feel worse if my unvaccinated kid spread a terrible illness to an itty bitty baby (perhaps his own sibling or that of a friend), than if a vaccination caused him to have a nasty reaction. Of course, both of these scenarios suck, you just have to decide which is the lesser of two evils for you, make your decision, and hope for the best!
Related: Cuddling Through Vaccines
So, how do you feel about vaccines? Comment below!