What You Should Consider Before Taking the Chicken Pox Vaccine
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
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
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 1980s outbreaks occurred in adolescents and adults--most of whom were
vaccinated as children.)
7) Californias Pacificare Health Systems HMO chose not to recommend
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
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
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. Lukes 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
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
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.
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Parents Vaccine Information Home Page
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In 1999 chicken pox vaccination for NY children passed into law without
public hearings. Read the request our
Who To Contact in NY State Government and how to
communicate your demands.