PLEASE, dear readers, let me reiterate that I AM A MOM trying to make the best decisions for my family, NOT A HEALCARE PROFESSIONAL nor an INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT!!! My info is not always the MOSTest up-to-date-est stuff out there, because I do not spend evenings pouring over medical journals. Well, not every evening.
Anyhoo, all my books are loaned out, but I would like to quote from a few online articles. Feel free to take them with a grain- or 2 or 12- of salt. And I wish you the best on your journey as a parent and health-care consumer :).
"Dr. Walter Orenstein, Director, CDC National Immunization Program, who will have a great deal to say about recommending chicken pox vaccine for all children, described being kept up for several nights with his five-year-old during a bout of chicken pox, admitting, "It's that kind of problem that the vaccine would eliminate rather than serious disease (6)."
"Dr. Arthur Lavin, Department of Pediatrics, St. Luke's Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio wrote in The Lancet (17) of "three concerns ... (he) believe(s) argue strongly against die licensure of varicella vaccine for healthy children."
- chicken pox "is not major in the sense of disease mortality or morbidity. In childhood, mortality is very low, and morbidity is usually minor ... Therefore, if healthy children were fully vaccinated it is unclear in what significant way the health of the children or the economic health of their families would be improved."
- Routine chicken pox vaccination in healthy children might pose a "grave danger of advancing the age of onset of chicken pox into adulthood." After bemoaning adults' poor compliance with vaccine recommendations, e.g., influenzae vaccine, Dr. Lavin asks, "What makes the proponents of universal varicella immunization believe that adults who may be susceptible to varicella as a result of their efforts would protect themselves with a booster dose (of chicken pox vaccine)?"
- Dr. Lavin has deep concerns "about injecting millions of young children with a mutant strain of herpes virus. As is well known, herpes viral DNA insinuates itself into the human genome for the lifetime of a host .... Although the risk of a deleterious effect on the human genome from an injected mutant herpetic viral genome is remote, the application of this risk to hundreds of millions of hosts increases the chance that we will see some adverse effect".
"Humanity has been well served through efforts that have eliminated smallpox and nearly eradicated poliomyelitis and measles. However, not all infections demand these interventions (emphasis added). The Varicella immunization Program may be too much of a good thing. Until we actually know the duration of immunity and the risks involved in injecting mutated hepatic DNA into the host genome, I argue strongly against licensing this vaccine for use in all children."
"It appears that chicken pox vaccine will be mandated by law, not to benefit healthy children, but to save time and money for their parents with jobs outside the home, to protect children with cancer from catching chicken pox from other children, or for parental convenience so that parents will not have to stay up for two or three nights caring for their children with chicken pox
But, as Dr. Lavin states above (17), what price might society pay for this convenience?
By Kristine M. Severyn, R.Ph., Ph.D. "
(My version: "We eat way to much McD's to worry about vaccine safety!")