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A little while back I filmed this video for Juice Box Jungle about “Chicken Pox Parties.” I had the chicken pox when I was six, and have a nice big scar on my forehead to prove it. I remember itching so much it hurt. I remember being put in a bathtub full of something (oatmeal?). Back then, everybody got chicken pox. There was no alternative.
When my doctor asked if I wanted the chicken pox vaccine for my kids, I asked him what I usually ask him when trying to make a decision: what would he do for his kids? He said he’d get it for them, no question.
The biggest criticism I’ve heard of the chicken pox vaccine is that it may need another booster in adulthood. Nobody really knows, because the vaccine has only been around for 25 years. But it’s not like doctors aren’t monitoring this! If we need a booster later, they’ll let us know. Others are worried about complications. But everything I’ve ever read from reputable sources says that getting the vaccine is absolutely safer than getting the disease. This shoots down the oft-heard anti-vaccine argument that vaccines cause bad reactions. Compared to what? What’s the reaction like to the actual disease? Chicken pox is not the walk-in-the-park right-of-passage that some parents make it out to be. People get hospitalized for it, and some even die (although not nearly as often as before the vaccine!)
There are legitimate concerns that eradicating the disease will take away any chance at natural long-term immunity. And while I understand this, I do not think it’s a reason not to get the vaccine. You prevent the disease, and then you figure everything else out. I trust my kids’ doctor.
So, this is one party I won’t bitch about not getting invited to, I promise.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom