Chickenpox parties and the risk of natural immunity

A byproduct of the anti-vaccination movement is chickenpox parties.

“My 7-year-old daughter has been to six of these parties. Unfortunately, we have not caught the pox yet, but I’m keeping my eye out for more parties,” says a concerned parent.

Some believe that natural immunity produces a higher level of antibodies, and thus, longer-lasting immunity. Which is true. However, they fail to realize the very real risks of natural immunity, such as encephalitis, hospitalization, and possibly, death.

Furthermore, there is the public health risk, since “other strains of the chickenpox epidemic can be passed around as children who are not protected against the virus mingle with one another.”

Vaccines only work if everybody is protected. Those that hold out are in danger of putting others at risk of diseases that should have been eradicated.

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