Editor’s Note: Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez is a practicing pediatrician and a Stanford and also elafilador.net worldwide Health and also Media Fellow.




You are watching: Chicken pox vaccine vs natural immunity

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin freshly said he determined to expose all ripe of his kids to the chickenpox rather of offering them the vaccine.

“They had it as children. They to be miserable because that a few days, and they every turned the end fine,” Bevin claimed in one interview through WKCT, a Bowling Green, Kentucky, radio station.

So-called chickenpox parties, in i m sorry parents expose their kids to the disease based ~ above the id that it will certainly be more serious if contracted as an adult, are not a brand-new concept. Prior to vaccines came to be available, the parties used to be an extremely popular for illness such together chickenpox or measles.

Although this parties are far less typical now, parents will still occasionally advertise having actually a child with chickenpox in ~ home, inviting other parents with small children to come “get it end it and develop lifelong immunity.”

are chickenpox next a an excellent idea?

No, lock really are not a an excellent idea at all.

Chickenpox parties to be an yes sir idea in the days when parents had actually no other means to construct long-lasting immunity in their children. But because the introduction of the chickenpox vaccine in 1995, parental no much longer need to go to these extremes. They have actually a much safer way to make certain their children are defended for years to come.


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2 doses of the vaccine, given at periods 12 months v 15 months and also then again in ~ 4 with 6 years, are around 90% effective at staying clear of chickenpox.

In the small number of people that still get chickenpox in spite of having obtained the vaccine, the illness is commonly milder, through fewer or no blisters and a soft fever, or sometimes no heat at all, follow to the united state Centers for an illness Control and Prevention.

isn’t ‘natural immunity’ to diseases like chickenpox much better than ‘vaccine immunity’?


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emerging immunity come an infectious condition like the chickenpox means the immune system has actually seen the virus, has an installed a response, and also has arisen what’s called “memory” come the details illness. This immune device memory will enable it to react much faster the following time that encounters a virus prefer the chickenpox, protecting the person versus the infection.

The immune device does not treatment how the body was exposed come the illness. Even if it is this occurred through one complete blown epidemic such as that got at a chickenpox party, or after numerous doses of a vaccine, immune is immunity.

In the lengthy run, the distinction comes in days emotion “miserable,” like Bevin admitted his kids felt; in days missed from school and also work; and in the tiny but really real number of severe and also potentially deadly complications the come from acquiring an illness like the chickenpox.

those the big deal? I got chickenpox as soon as I was a kid

countless of us did. Again, our parents had actually no better way to protect us against the chickenpox, and also it is true the the condition can be much more severe in adulthood.


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Chickenpox have the right to be more serious in pregnant women and also children under age 1. The vaccine is not indicated for either of these groups, therefore the prominence of everyone else being vaccinated and stopping the spread out of this illness.

The CDC also explains that complications indigenous the chickenpox include bacterial superinfections that the skin, blisters, pneumonia, and also extension that the epidemic to the central nervous system – in addition to hospitalization and also death.

deserve to you obtain shingles if you had actually the chickenpox vaccine?




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The brief answer come the shingles concern is this: All evidence so much indicates the those who obtain the chickenpox vaccine have actually a reduced risk of arising shingles later on in life 보다 those who had the chickenpox itself.

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a skin disorder motivated by the chickenpox or varicella virus. It can remain dormant follow me nerve roots after someone it s okay the chickenpox and also reactivate later in life.

Vaccination versus shingles is recommended for all adults 50 and older in the joined States.