Natural Immunity Information Network
P.O. Box 2090
Canal Street Station
New York, NY 10013
Thank you for your interest and correspondence regarding Assembly bill
4600 and Senate bill 982 which would require the chicken pox (varicella)
vaccine be given to all of New York State's children. Your letter
contained some well thought out points, which I remain open to
Although chicken pox can provide life long immunity, reactions from
chicken pox hospitalize approximately 14, 500 people and kill 105 people
each year, reported Jane Seward, M.D., M.P.H., pediatrician and chief of
varicella activity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Center (CDC) in Atlanta. According to an article written by Mike Bykowski,
from Pediatric News, the chicken pox vaccine is 100% effective in
preventing severe to moderate varicella and 86% effective in preventing
all varicella, according to a study cited from a CDC report.
After the Food and Drug Administration investigated a chicken pox
outbreak in Georgia, investigators learned that chicken pox occurs in 88%
of unvaccinated children and only 14% in vaccinated children. Of the
vaccinated children all contracted a mild case of the disease opposed to
2(5% contracting a mild case after not being vaccinated. That means that
74% of children had moderate to severe cases of chicken pox.
Lynn Olson, Ph.D., of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP),
reported on a survey that the AAP recommends the chicken pox vaccine for
all infants aged 12-18 months and all other children before the age of 13,
when the severity of the disease increases. This allows infants to receive
the vaccine at the same time as the measles, mumps and rubella vaccines.
The AAP is not the only agency that recommends that all states require the
vaccine. The Center for Disease Contrors Advisory Committee of
Immunization Practices and the American Academy of Family Physicians
recommend the vaccination, as well.
During the clinical tests of this vaccine pain and redness were the
only adverse reactions in 11,000 healthy children, adolescents and adults.
Vaccination to people already immune to chicken pox yielded no increase in
adverse affects. The adverse reactions found were only .05% higher in the
vaccinated patients than those that received a placebo.
Senior research investigator in FDA's Center for Biological Evaluations
and Research, Philip Krause, M.D. said that over time the chicken pox
vaccine has been looked at carefully, for about five years, and
substantial evidence of decreasing immunity has not been shown. Without
long term studies it is difficult to determine how long the vaccine is
effective. Parents and other adults who have been vaccinated are
presumably receiving a booster effect from repeated exposure to children
who have been naturally exposed to chicken pox. The only way to determine
long term effects is to use the vaccine and analyze the results.
The Food and Drug Administration has continued to observe the effects
and consequences of the chicken pox vaccine. They are currently conducting
"formal Phase 4" studies which means that the manufacturer, at
the FDA's request, will monitor several thousand children for 15 years to
determine what the long term effects and possible need for a booster
An added benefit of vaccination includes fewer days
home from school for a child as well as fewer days off from work for
Given this legislation is currently before the Health Committee, I
encourage you to express any further concerns that you may have directly
with the members of that committee, if you feel the need.
After carefully reviewing the facts of immunization, I introduced
Assembly bill 4866 that mandates the chicken pox vaccination as well as
rotavirus. This decision was made after considering all of the information
that you have provided as well as my own research. The conclusion that I
came to is that in order to make this vaccine effective it must be
mandatory. That is why legislation has been created for all children to be
vaccinated. If we don't we will continue to suffer with the consequences
of adults contracting severe and even deadly cases of chicken pox.
Daniel J. Fessenden
Member of Assembly
ALBANY OFFICE: Room 723,
Legislative Office Building, Albany, New York 12248, (518) 455-5878, FAX
(518) 455-3895, e-mail: fessendEc, assembly.state.ny.us
DISTRICT OFFICE: 69 South Street, Auburn, New York 13021, (315) 255-3045,
FAX (315) 255-3048, e-maih assembly126@ baldcom.net