Global Vaccine Awareness League
Newsletter Excerpts
The GVAL Torch
Summer of 1997

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Mandatory Chickenpox Vaccine

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that state legislatures require chickenpox vaccine for entry to school, day care, and Head Start programs...

Vaccine Wears off

Chickenpox vaccine has been demonstrated to work for only six to ten years, in the same range as measles vaccine. Therefore, when vaccine immunity wears off in a few years, adolescents and adults become susceptible to chickenpox. If they had caught the disease as young children, virtually all would have lifetime immunity. Instead, with the advent of chickenpox vaccine, those who did not catch chickenpox as children will be recommended, and forced, to receive periodic doses of this vaccine through out life.

It happened with measles

History shows that government mass vaccination programs can change a disease from a usually harmless inconvenience of childhood to a more serious problem of adolescence and adulthood Measles (rubella) illustrates such a case.

When live measles vaccine was licensed, public health officials told us that the vaccine would provide lifetime protection against the disease. Then in 1989 and 1990 when the country saw a resurgence of measles, about half of the cases occurring in adolescents and adults who had been vaccinated as young children, it was obvious that the vaccine really did not work as well as expected.

Unfortunately, a whole generation of adolescents and adults were now susceptible to measles, where in past years nearly all would have had the disease as school-age children and be immune for life. Bad news for little babies Worse yet, the government's mass measles vaccination experiment resulted in serious measles illness and death in young babies. Prior to mass measles vaccination, nearly all children caught measles when they were in elementary school, recovered, developed blood antibodies to measles, and carried this protection into adulthood. When women later had families, they passed these measles antibodies onto their unborn children, who would then be protected from measles for about a year after birth. Thus nature provided a way to protect newborns from a disease which can be quite serious in this age group. Unfortunately, vaccinated mothers do not develop the strong measles antibody response as women who had the disease, and cannot pass on this same protection to their unborn babies. As a result, the 1989-1990 U.S. measles resurgence saw many babies catch measles and die. These babies would have likely been protected from measles in the past. Instead, government mass vaccination programs destroyed this efficient safeguard against measles in young infants.

Excerpt from Vaccine News, Ohio Parents for Vaccine Safety, Jan. 1997

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Chickenpox, which is known by the clinical name varicella, is caused by the varicella zoster virus. Zoster relates to shingles, which is a reactivation of the infection that may occur in some people later in life. In some groups, including teenagers and adults who have not already had chickenpox, there is the possibility of a more significant infection and greater rash, but this is unusual because over 90% of people will have had the virus in a mild form by the age of 14 years.

Another group of concern includes women who have not had chickenpox and are intending to become pregnant because the fetus can be affected. Children whose immune system is affected by a major illness, such as cancer, or who are using particular treatments such as high dose steroids may also experience a more significant infection. These children will be watched closely by their parents and doctors. The risks to these patients and the appropriate treatments and protection will be known.

Treatments are available for more serious chickenpox infection. They include the drug acyclovir (if the infection occurs), and immune globulin (VZIG) to help prevent illness in children's whose immune status is affected. Some countries are currently considering whether chickenpox vaccine should be included in their national immunization programs, for example, Singapore and Finland.