"What a mess." Part 3 of the Chicken Pox Vaccine Chronicles

“What a mess.”

That’s what my husband said in response to me explaining what I found when I went to www.clinicalstudiesresults.org to research the actual submitted Study to Test the Safety and Immunogenicity of the VARIVAX (chicken pox) vaccine.

I’m just one mom. Not a doctor or anything, so take my words for whatever value they have to you.

I’m really against the chicken pox vaccine. I don’t want to be. I don’t want to be anti-vax at all. I really love the idea of vaccines. I have not gone easily into the land of vaccine nonacceptance. I swear to you. I don’t want to be a hippie. I don’t want to be a fruit loop. I don’t enjoy being called stupid and irresponsible.

I first wrote about Chicken Pox in this blog, after a woman I knew had dealt with all of her children come down with the varicella virus. Further research led me to share with you this post about why the Chicken Pox vaccines are actually seriously socially irresponsible in how they are increasing cases of the more painful and debilitating Shingles and robbing the older generations of the natural inoculation they used to get before all this Chicken Pox vaxing started.

Here is Merck’s information that they give to doctors regarding the Varivax Vaccine.  It says,

“In early clinical trials,5 a total of 4240 children 1 to 12 years of age received 1000-1625 PFU of attenuated virus per dose of VARIVAX and have been followed for up to nine years post single-dose vaccination. In this group there was considerable variation in chickenpox rates among studies and study sites, and much of the reported data was acquired by passive follow-up. It was observed that 0.3%-3.8% of vaccinees per year reported chickenpox (called breakthrough cases.)”

Then, they act like that’s awesome.

Let’s take the estimated percentage of “0.3%-3.8%” round it to 2% and do some math.

Two percent of 4240 children is about 85 children. So, 85 children got Chicken Pox every year, despite getting vaccinate. Except the follow up lasted nine years. 85 time 9 is 765. So, essentially, within nine years, 765 of the 4240 children got Chicken Pox anyway. Suddenly, that’s 18 percent of the test subjects… that got Chicken Pox anyway.

Of course, they say the virus is less severe, but certainly not any less contagious. Let’s remember that the primary reason they shove this vaccine down our throats is because they tell us we need to not be selfish and think of the children who have compromised immune systems. Except that… a “mild case” is still contagious. So, who are we helping if we’re still contagious?

And for the people who say, well, if the cases are milder, then the health risks are less. Well, according to Merck, from all their studies, “There are insufficient data to assess the rate of protection against the complications of chickenpox (e.g., encephalitis, hepatitis, pneumonia) in children.” Because, the number of Pox is not indicative of the way the body will react to the virus, and in truth, the complications are so exceptionally rare, that they are basically inconsequential.

But I digress, what if the test didn’t stop at nine years?  What if it went to ten years? Do we get to assume that 85 children every consecutive year would also get it? Or does it become exponentially less effective as the years go by? Even assuming it stays at that rate, within 12 years, the vaccine is now only 75% effective. Time for boosters!

That must be why when I first gave my son the vaccine, when in kindergarten they assured my son that he didn’t have to get any more shots of any kind until he was 12. He remembered that, because 12 was the dreaded age. Suddenly, when my son turned ten years old, the school sent me a letter telling me that he was overdue for his Chicken Pox vaccine. Did they seriously think my son wouldn’t call BS?!

And how many times do people get to change the terms before we start asking them if they even have any clue what there doing anyway?! What about long term consequences?

Now, if we’re going to have to be giving boosters all the time, what does that mean to young women in childbearing years who have an only partially effective vaccine to “protect them.” What if that young vaccinated woman, while her resistance is down from pregnancy anyway, is exposed to Chicken Pox?  Does any one realize the implications of that? Does anyone not think about the full ramifications of not letting her acquire Chicken Pox naturally as a child?

I’ll tell you.

According to the Mayo Clinic, when a woman develops Chicken Pox during the first twenty weeks of pregnancy, her child runs the risk of getting  congenital varicella syndrome, which includes:

  • Scars on the skin
  • Muscle and bone defects
  • Malformed limbs
  • Vision problems
  • Mental retardation
The Mayo Clinic also states that if a woman happens to develop Chicken Pox right around the time of delivery, her infant runs the risk of developing a life threatening Chicken Pox infection.
How much you want to wager that a large number of  the 100 people that died each year from Chicken Pox prior to the vaccine didn’t fall into that category?

By the way, Merck’s reference number five (the citation in orange in Merck’s pediatrician packet quoted above) which gets cited left and right in this doctor’s info packet is cited as: “5. Unpublished data; files of Merck Research Laboratories”  Why is that an OK citation? A citation like that wouldn’t even fly on a middle school term paper.

What a mess is right.

Works Cited:

1.) Schmed, Ed, Telephone Conversation With, My childhood imaginary friend, 1983.

2.) Dawn; Personal Journal Entries, Nunya Business, 2005.

3.) Chicken Pox Isn’t Polio, So Don’t Even Go There; Unpublished Private Messages From my InBox.






  1. Carol

    How can you speak against vaccines when your knowledge of immunology is so immature? Perhaps the greatest failure is with the education system and not the medical community. People can die from varicella virus infections. Or worse, be neurologically damaged for life.

    • Dawn Babcock Papple

      Yup, 100 people a year used to die from it, Carol. Now about 50 people a year die from it…. out of 300 MILLION.

      And that HAS to be because of the vaccine right? It can’t be better handling of the complications when they occur? Besides 100 compared to 50 is no negligible difference when we’re talking about over 300 million.

      The vaccine info states that the vaccine studies can not determine if there are any actual benefits regarding complications from Chicken Pox. So, your neurological argument doesn’t hold water.

      All the vaccine does is make the number of pox less and the likelihood that you will get it during the span of its time that it functions less. Eventually it wears off and more boosters are needed.

      That’s more toxins to our system. For what? Chicken Pox?

      We do agree on one thing though, people need to be more educated about the vaccine and the disease itself. Though, we clearly have different views on what should be learned.

    • Angie

      Carol, I’m cracking up. A child is more likely to die from circumcision than of natural chickenpox. A childis more likely to suffer neurological damage from a crack smoking mother than from chickenpox.

      For Pete’s sake… The chickenpox vaccine is one of the most inane inventions of the medical community. It’s stupid. Period.

  2. Don

    The very next line in the paragraph you quote from the Merck paper says “This represents an approximate 83% (95% confidence interval [CI], 82%, 84%) decrease from the age-adjusted expected incidence rates in
    susceptible subjects over this same period” so your numeric extrapolation still doesn’t add up to a trivial outcome.

    Further, that’s the very top of the study for a 1-dose regime. Look on the 2-dose a few pages down and the decrease is even greater – 98%.

    Some of the rest of your objections are just a macguffin. People may get exposed to the live virus because of the vaccine. So? Sticking to the old ways of people contracting it naturally means the virus is floating around in the world so this is no worse. Further, since its only in the short period after vaccination, we have some knowledge of when someone is shedding the virus rather than when people are in the incubation period and unaware they’re ill. Further, “herd immunity” means that those people shedding live virus are far less likely to result in it travelling a long way.

    Vaccines aren’t perfect. The paper comments that one of the things that might cause lower antibody levels is if we get to a well-vaccinated population and people aren’t being exposed to the wild virus anymore, which prods their system up. But even if this means we need to look into boosting people again as they get older, the way we do with tetanus, that’s a darn sight less unpleasant than if everyone has to go through the traditional method of being exposed to the disease and being knocked out of commission for a week+.

    • Dawn Babcock Papple

      I understand exactly what you’re saying Don, hence my point about boosters. And HENCE my point about it being dangerous to rely on boosters when there are pregnant women walking around everywhere every day with an inadequate vaccine.

      And I personally think, given Part 1 and Part 2 (did you read those?) of my Chicken Pox Vaccine Chronicals, my point remains: The Chicken ox vaccine does FAR more bad than it does good. BIG DEAL if kids out out of commission for a week or so, the natural way is the healthiest and most responsible way to handle the disease for our entire society.

  3. Jennifer

    Vaccines are not perfect. There are some questionable ingredients, and they do not protect people fully. I completely understand the arguments of people against vaccines.

    However, I have two kids with compromised immune systems. They are often sick, and I am always worried about them. One cannot breathe when he gets sick, and the other has an increased risk of having seizures when she gets sick. As a parent, it kills me (as does your dismissive tone when talking of little ones with compromised immune systems).

    If a lot of people stopped using vaccines, the diseases they are meant to prevent will become much more common. If my kiddos catch these, their chances of survival are much smaller than kids with stronger immune systems. (One of my kids has been hospitalized for a cold…) But it’s not just my kids. There are millions of kids out there with similar issues. Not only would vaccines protect healthy kids from feeling miserable when they get sicker than they would had they received the vaccine, but they save many lives.

    If people choose not to vaccinate their kids, fine. That’s their choice. But, I don’t think people should be so dismissive of the millions of kiddos who have compromised immune systems. That, I believe, IS selfish. No parent will know the pain of having a chronically ill child until he/she experiences it first hand.

    And, whether you choose to vaccinate or not, for goodness sakes, cover your cough! :o)

    • Dawn Papple

      Jennifer, I apologize if you felt that my tone towards children with compromised immune systems was dismissive. It most certainly isn’t.

      There are certainly many vaccines, that even though I am scared to death of vaccines and do not believe in their safety, still have gotten for my children and still WILL get for my children.

      My son’s organs are significantly weaker than most children because of circumstances around his birth. He can still technically get vaccines, however, given that doctors have told me that his liver and kidneys are much weaker than the average child’s and given that his brain has already been compromised by toxins, vaccines for him are petrifying. Likewise, my daughter can’t get certain vaccines because of her allergic reactions to two of them.

      All that said, the most major concern of mine when choosing to get vaccinated or not vaccinated is the severity of consequences for children with immune system issues. In fact, if it weren’t for other people’s children, I would likely only give my children one or two vaccines ever.

      So, if it seems like I’m dismissive about it, it is just because the total deaths for chicken pox is 100 a year out of 300 million Americans and that includes all of the children with cancers and transplants. Most of the times the complications from my understanding come from improper health care and subsequent bacterial infections. Now they say the deaths are cut in half, but half of 100 in a population of 300 million is negligible STATISTICALLY. That’s not me saying those 50 people didn’t matter.

      If I felt for one second that not vaccinating against chicken pox would kill other people’s children, I would not have written this post in the first place.

      But after looking at the actual facts and figures of the disease, on the contrary, I am scared out of my mind over the idea that the vaccine allows children to carry the virus without them even knowing it to pass off to children in the grocery store and at school. Likewise, the fact that shingles is becoming significantly more prevalent because of this vaccine is horrifying to me. Not for my children with good immune systems, but for my son with the bad immune system, for your child and for the millions of other children with very poor immune systems.

      I do take my social responsibility very seriously. The reason for this post was to show that the Chicken Pox vaccine is actually dangerous… not just because of the additives and risks to the child getting the vaccine, but because of the health implications of this far from perfect vaccine.

      It’s similar to the herpes drug valtrex. People take it and think that they won’t transmit to anyone because they aren’t having an outbreak, but in reality, now, they just don’t realize when they are having viral shedding and are far more likely to engage in sexual encounters while they are (unknowingly) contagious.

      I am so sorry that you felt my tone was dismissive… because I promise you, while it may not be the case for some anti-vaxers, the immune compromised child and adult is always one of my biggest concerns.

      This particular vaccine is for Chicken Pox. It is my firmly held belief after looking at all of the statistics myself that your children would be safer if children were to acquire it naturally. In that case, you would KNOW that they are contagious, at least for much of it. With the vaccine, you may never know, their parents may never know, and even if they do, since it is so mild, they may send them in public anyway. Likewise, shingles which can last weeks and even months will be out there more than ever before. People go on about their lives when they have shingles. They are in pain, certainly, but they generally don’t stay home.

      People counter this by saying that shingles is not contagious. That’s only partly true. Shingles cannot be passed from one person to another. However, a person with shingles can transmit the virus that causes shingles to others. If a person who has never had chickenpox is exposed to someone with shingles, he or she will develop chickenpox, not shingles.

      So, in the past, you would have to worry about sending your children to elementary school, but now, you have to worry about them being around other young adults as well. You will have to worry about your children in middle and high school as people develop shingles, your children will risk getting chicken pox. I hope this makes sense.

      I hope this clear things up, because the last thing in the world I would want is for you to think that your children’s health doesn’t matter to me.

      “This vaccine isn’t worth it” does NOT translate into “Your child isn’t worth it.” Your child WOULD be worth calculated risks to me. Except that, I believe that this vaccine endangers your child more than if Chicken Pox were in the wild.

      • Jennifer

        Another thought: As a scientist and researcher, I know one study (no matter how carefully conducted) is worthless unless the results can be replicated. Are the statistics your using replicated in the literature, or are they based on one study?

        • Dawn Babcock Papple

          Also, I know there is a shingles vaccine, but as we and our parents age, there are certain groups that can’t get the vaccine:

          Some people should NOT get shingles vaccine.

          -A person who has ever had a life-threatening or severe allergic reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of shingles vaccine.

          -A person who has a weakened immune system because of
          HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system, treatment with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroids, cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy, a history of cancer affecting the bone marrow or lymphatic system, such as leukemia or lymphoma.

          -Women who are or might be pregnant or might get pregnant within four weeks.

          That’s A LOT of people. Thing of the people you know in our generation and the older generation that fall into that category. From my perspective, it’s MOST of the people I know in my parent’s generation. If they could just hug grandchildren with CP like they used to, they would get a natural booster that wouldn’t put them at risk.

  4. Dawn Papple

    I’m not basing them on studies, just public records. I also believe all studies can be ruined… So I prefer just to look at figures for anything that is considered debatable.

    I’m glad you wrote back, because I was just sick over the thought that you thought I was being “survival of the fittest” over this Chicken Pox post. I am WAY too compassionate to think that way.

    Immune compromised children is my biggest concern (well, and of course, my heart is always with pregnant women) and I believe with my whole heart that the vaccination is just making things worse for both groups.

    You and I WILL get shingles, because our children won’t expose us to Chicken Pox giving us a natural mini-booster. Our parents will get shingles worse than any “grandparent generation” ever has. And that’s frightening and sad.

  5. What ever happened to chicken pox sleep overs? All the kids in the community were gathered together when a child caught chicken pox and everyone got exposed together. We all got sick together and better together and were immune for life. We stayed at home where germs belong. I don’t remember anyone ever dying from chicken pox. I’m sure there were deaths, but not enough of them to register in my population base.

    When my third child was born his two siblings broke out with chicken pox on the same day. I got one chicken pox and so did my newborn son, right in the middle of his chest. I decided not to panic. We stayed home and got better, now we are all immune, we’ll see about me and the baby…maybe only partial immunity for us. I’m not choosing to run out and get vaccinated. We do not have contact with any immune suppressed children or adults. If my son gets chicken pox I will keep him home until he is better again while getting another boost to my immunity.

    I don’t mean to be sassy here. I hope no one takes it this way. This is just my experience with chicken pox and so far, it’s been effective. We won’t find out about shingles for a long time yet.

    • Dawn Babcock Papple

      We had chicken pox parties too… Now people act like that’s disturbing. I try explaining, “No seriously, that’s what we did if it was a convenient time!” People didn’t worry about it then. It really was not the way they are pretending it was for sure!

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