"Providing natural immunity" to chickenpox

Here’s something that may shock you. Despite that we have a great vaccine against chickenpox, some people think it’s a fabulous idea to infect their kids with this disease on purpose.

What do you think? “Natural immunity” somehow better than a relatively safe vaccine?

The parents boasted about how they were giving their children “natural immunity”. This harmless disease can cause skin infections, scarring, nervous system and brain damage and even death.

Why would people do this to their children — and then proudly post photos of it on the net, of their kids covered with pustules?

I’m baffled, outraged, and grossed out.

What the hell is wrong with people?

Note: Here’s an article from The other side if you want to see their arguments.

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9 Responses to "Providing natural immunity" to chickenpox

  1. Heidi says:

    I don't know. I'm so excited about even the partial immunity conferred by the shots that I could dance all the way to the doctor's.Because of my weird childhood, I didn't end up exposed to chicken pox until I was 12. 12 is too damn old, I assure you. I was sick for weeks. So, before the shot, if my mother had the foresight to expose me to it at say, 4, that seems like a good deal. Less painful. But now that there is a good option? Hell no!

  2. Susanne says:

    I'm really passionately for vaccination. I don't know about the US, but here in Germany there are a couple of diseases on the rise again, because people either think that they don't exist anymore (wrong), or that getting them "naturally" is better for you and healthier than being vaccinated.Those people don't know anyone dying from those diseases, I know. Some of them have a family member who suffered from ill side effects of the old vaccine. I'm sorry for them, but there are new vaccines out there and for some of them there has been nor cause at all of side effects.And I'll never understand why becoming immune through a controlled and relatively harmless process should be inferior to suffering from the real disease.

  3. Nicole says:

    I just saw a post on my mother's group – a friend looking for someone with chicken pox so she can expose her own kid to get "natural immunity". Going backwards again…why oh why?

  4. badgermama says:

    Nicole – Surely we are on the same email list, because that's exactly what got me going thinking about the subject!

  5. minnie says:

    also… if you get vaccinated you are supposed to go back to get tested to make sure you are really now immune. so the argument against vacination because it is not 100% effective is totally bunk.

  6. Kyla says:

    What is wrong with everyone getting to choose what they do without judgement? If vaccines are effective then it doesn't matter what my child contracts yours can't get it. Viruses and bacteria mutate in nature, they do not need a human host. So, again not any more of a threat to the vax'd. I'm really passionatly anti vax, for my own child. What you do with yours…up to you.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The Other Liz here As you know in realtime/meatspace, I am older than dirt (ie, I was born in 1951) I have clear memories of "chicken pox parties"–The idea was, you have all your children ill at once, at home, bored and whineyChanging the subject from chicken pox to whooping cough, the rumor is that >3 kids in Palo Alto will not graduate high school as scheduled, because of the whooping cough epidemic there.More rumor: these were all kids on track to start college in Fall 07 and now scholarships etc. are endangered.Evidently whooping cough (pertussis) is similar to tetanus in immunity conferred by tetanus: immunity is good immediately following innoculation, but wanes over time.

  8. Nicole says:

    I was wondering if that was the case, as I am pretty sure we are on the same email list. The reason we are concerned about kids not getting vaccinated, is because nothing (natural or the vaccine) is 100% (plus the babies have not been vaccinated yet), but it's sure less likely diseases will spread if we limit the number of kids who have it.

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