We have all heard of chicken pox (caused by the varicella zoster virus.) As a baby boomer, I experienced chicken pox in my youth and managed to SURVIVE without the intervention of ANY THERAPY. There was no therapy available when I was a child. My mother was instructed by my pediatrician to keep me home (to avoid spreading a contagious virus) and let my body HEAL ITSELF. 90+% of my childhood classmates experienced a viral attack by the varicella zoster virus and successfully recovered as a result of their immune systems combating the disease. In my generation, people actually had chicken pox “parties” to intentionally expose other children to this virus to elicit an immune response providing lifetime immunity. Typical childhood diseases were not FEARED as they are today.
Death is an unavoidable event that occurs whether we use medical intervention preventatively or not. One must measure the RISK/REWARD efficacy of treatments in cases where LOW RISKS for serious illnesses occur. FEAR, by authoritative professionals, to convince or discourage treatments is both unethical and immoral. It is the professional’s job to SHARE ALL INFORMATION KNOWN (both supporting and refuting any outcomes) rather than IMPOSE personal preferences.
Today we have two treatments encouraged by the medical community for children and adults. We have the Chicken Pox vaccine for children and the Shingles vaccine for adults. Where we once had chicken pox “parties,” we now inoculate to prevent the illness from manifesting. How beneficial is this? Was this a HIGH RISK disease that effected quality living for a significant percentage of our population? The answer is no. Does the chicken pox vaccine provide the same lifelong protection as exposure to the actual virus? The answer is no. Does the vaccine require ongoing booster vaccines over a lifetime? The answer is YES! Does it raise enough controversy to make it a legitimate FAMILY DECISION rather than an IMPOSING STATE AND MEDICAL DECISION? I suggest YOU decide the answer for yourself!
SHINGLES is believed to predominantly affect those 60 years of age and older with weakened immune function. The vaccine was supposed to protect this population against Shingles and provide 20+ years of protection. In reality, the Shingles vaccine has been found to INCREASE the chances of developing the disease in a younger HEALTHIER population (ages 31-40) and only produced potential protection for two years rather than the 20 years expected. (Reference: Shingles Vaccine Research)
Although the vaccine is approved by the FDA for those 50 and older, the CDC has provided a warning to those under 60 to discuss the risks of complications with their doctor: (Ref: CDC Research on Shingles Vaccine)
Herpes zoster vaccine is approved by FDA for people aged 50 years and older. However, CDC does not recommend routine use of herpes zoster vaccine in people aged 50 through 59 years old. Health care providers considering the herpes zoster vaccine for certain persons aged 50 through 59 years should discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with their patients. Although the vaccine has short-term efficacy, there have been no long-term studies of vaccine protection in this age group.
LET’S ADD SOME CONTROVERSY!
The SHINGLES VACCINE claims to reduce the risk of shingles by 50%! Let’s look at PERCENTAGES AND REAL NUMBERS instead of percentages alone.
The clinical trial showed a reduction of Shingles in the placebo group (3.3%) to the vaccine group (1.6%,) hence a 50% reduction. In REAL NUMBERS this translates to:
175 people vaccinated to prevent 1 CASE!
1087 would have to be vaccinated to prevent 1 CASE of post herpetic neuralgia (a known potential complication of the disease .)
All this at a cost of $150-$300 per vaccination.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
This vaccine is still fairly new and its long-term side effects and effectiveness have yet to be determined.
Second, no one knows if it helps ward off repeat outbreaks.
AN ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT NOT MAKING THE NEWS:
Various forms of VITAMIN C have been studied and proven efficacious while effectively combating this virus. The explanation is lengthy and requires a LINK for those interested in the details. You can find it at: