NYVIC (New Yorkers for Vaccination Information and Choice)

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What You Should Consider Before Taking the Chicken Pox Vaccine (VARIVAX)

1) VARIVAX is recommended by Merck for children 12 months and older.

2) Chicken pox has a better than 99.99% compete recovery rate followed by life-time immunity.

3) The FDA VAERS' (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) first year surveillance of VARIVAX included over 1,500 reports. 76 were serious adverse reactions that included 2 deaths. While a VAERS report does not prove a causal relationship between the vaccine and the death or disability that follows, the vaccine is highly suspect in all such reports.

4) The FDA has stated that fewer than 10% of serious adverse reactions and deaths following vaccines are reported; independent researchers cite lower rates. The federal government has paid families of vaccine killed and disabled children nearly $100 million in tax-payer dollars each year since 1986 through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVCIP).

5) Studies show that up to 3% of VARIVAX recipients contract chicken pox from the vaccine, and that some chicken pox cases may be contracted from recently vaccinated children. Vaccine recipients may therefore pose a health risk to pregnant mothers or family members with chronic health problems or compromised immune systems.

6) VARIVAX has an estimated effectiveness of 6 - 10 years. Vaccinated children may thus be unprotected as adults, when hospitalization and deaths from chickenpox occur at rates 10 and 20 times higher than in childhood, respectively. (Half of the measles cases in the late 1980’s outbreaks occurred in adolescents and adults--most of whom were vaccinated as children.)

7) California’s Pacificare Health Systems HMO chose not to recommend VARIVAX; medical director Dr. William Osheroff said, “The real issue is all of the unanswered questions about Varivax...This is a very benign disease in children, but the vaccine may create a false sense of security as these kids get older and find themselves non-immune. Chickenpox as an adult is a serious disease.”

8) A 1995 edition of Health Magazine stated, “As with any new vaccine, researchers won't have complete information on its effectiveness until it's been in use for at least a generation.”

9) Some parents reported a correlation between VARIVAX and seizures. (The FDA Vaccine Data Safety Link has recently reported that seizures following DPT are “common,” although the DPT vaccine has been in use for decades.)

10) VARIVAX was developed with the use of aborted fetuses. This may pose religious and/or ethical considerations for some people.

11) Infants today may be protected from chicken pox by maternal antibodies from their mothers. However, due to VARIVAX's temporary immunity, vaccinated girls may not have maternal antibodies as adults. Their future children may be susceptible to chicken pox as infants, when they are too young for the vaccine. (The percentage of measles cases in infants has increased significantly in the years following the widespread use of the measles vaccine).

12) Shingles, a sometimes debilitating condition, is caused by the chicken pox virus. It usually occurs after age 50 in a tiny percentage of persons who had chicken pox as children. The relationship between VARIVAX (a live virus vaccine) and shingles is unknown. In 10 years of use, nearly 1 out of 1000 vaccine recipients have developed shingles. There is no way to know how many of the remaining 999 out of each 1000 will also develop shingles in later years.

13) According to the National Vaccine Information Center, many healthcare professionals are very concerned that the live vaccine virus may “reactivate later in life in the form of herpes zoster (shingles) or other immune system disorders.”

14) Dr. A. Lavin of the Department of Pediatrics, St. Luke’s Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, strongly opposed licensing VARIVAX, “Until we actually know...the risks involved in injecting mutated DNA [the vaccine] into the host genome [children].”

15) Some studies suggest that chicken pox in a vaccinated child may be milder than in an unvaccinated child. However, some experts believe that this may be due to the vaccine suppressing the illness, which could actually signal a more serious underlying chronic condition. For example, “Atypical measles” is a disease that occurs only in people previously vaccinated for measles, and it is far more serious than regular measles. It is not yet known if “atypical chicken pox” cases will appear as a result of the use of VARIVAX.

16) VARIVAX contains MSG (monosodium glutamate) in 2 forms, according to Jack Samuels, an expert on MSG. According to the FDA, MSG is not advised for infants, children, or pregnant women or children of childbearing age, and people with affective (mental/emotional) disorders.

17) According to VARIVAX product literature, the vaccine contains gelatin and trace amounts of neomycin, and should not be given to people allergic to them; it should not be given to anyone with an immune disorder, or anyone receiving drugs which affect the immune system such as chemotherapy or steroids; it should not be given to people with untreated tuberculosis or certain other infections.

18) Those who may suffer from any chronic condition or who are taking medicine on a regular basis (or whose family members do) should also consider avoiding this vaccine.


This page courtesy of Informed Parents Vaccine Information Home Page
Please send update requests to aphillip@email.unc.edu

Permission freely granted to download, copy and distribute as desired in any non-profit manner. Persons interested in for-profit distribution, electronic reposting, additions, corrections, etc. please contact the author at the email address above.


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