Shelley Hendrix Reynolds on HuffPo: A Decade of Questioning Harm and the Autism Vaccine Connection.
CDC's Dr. Schuchat Said Nothing -- and That Says a Lot

Disingenuous CDC Study Confirms Danger of Chicken-pox Vaccine

Chicken-pox By John Stone

A  newly published study co-authored by the US Centers for Disease Control  into the effectiveness of chicken-pox vaccine states in conclusion:

Varicella vaccine substantially decreases the risk of herpes zoster among vaccinated children and its widespread use will likely reduce overall herpes zoster burden in the United States. The increase in herpes zoster incidence among 10- to 19-year-olds could not be confidently explained and needs to be confirmed from other data sources. (HERE)

While the authors are quick to claim causal benefit from the vaccination the negative effects can only be explained by them as aberrant. Yet such effects were also reported by a UK Health Protection Agency last year. Its press release stated:

If a chickenpox vaccine were to be added to the childhood immunisation programme concerns have been raised that there would be an increase of shingles cases in adults as a result. This is because people who have had chickenpox are less likely to have shingles later in life if they have been exposed occasionally to the chickenpox virus (for example through their children) as this exposure acts as a booster...

The modelling suggested that a two dose schedule at the levels of coverage likely to be achieved in the UK would lead to an increase of at least 20% of shingles in the medium term (approximately 15-20 years). This increase could be partially, but not completely, offset by introduction of a vaccination against shingles among those aged 60+.

Albert Jan van Hoek, who performed the research for the Health Protection Agency, said; “Our models suggest that vaccination would reduce the burden of chickenpox in the young. However, it will lead to an increase in shingles in the medium term in adults because they will not get that ‘boosting’ effect from being in contact with cases of chickenpox.

In fact, these effects have long been known about as a press release from Medical Veritas points out:

Interestingly, the published shingles (herpes zoster) incidence rates among vaccinated and unvaccinated children, as well as adolescents reported by VASP/CDC authors in this current study nicely agree with prior research findings by Goldman who served as Research Analyst for the Varicella Active Surveillance Project (VASP) in 2002 and published the incidence rates in 2005 (Universal Varicella Vaccination: Efficacy Trends and Effect on Herpes Zoster. Goldman GS. International Journal of Toxicology 2005 Jul/Aug; 24(4):203-213).
The Medical Veritas document goes on to explain:
In historical shingles studies, shingles incidence generally increases with age.  In his 1965 paper, Dr. Hope-Simpson suggested, “The peculiar age distribution of zoster may in part reflect the frequency with which the different age groups encounter cases of varicella and because of the ensuing boost to their antibody protection have their attacks of zoster postponed.” 
Lending support to this hypothesis that contact with children with chickenpox boosts adult cell-mediated immunity to help postpone or suppress shingles, is the study by Thomas et al. (Contacts with varicella or with children and protection against herpes zoster in adults: a case-control study. Thomas SL, Wheeler JG, Hall AJ. Lancet 2002 Aug 31;360(9334):678-82) that reported adults in households with children, had lower rates of herpes zoster (HZ) than households without children. Also, the study by Terada et al. (Incidence of HZ in pediatricians and history of reexposure to varicella-zoster virus in patients with HZ. Kansenshiogaku Zasshi 1995 Aug.; 69(8):908-912) indicated that pediatricians reflected incidence rates from ½ to 1/8 that of the general population their age.  Older parents, in their late 50s, who no longer have children in their household, demonstrate HZ at an incidence rate of 550/100,000 person-years. (Of course, those very elderly adults do experience a sharp rise in shingles incidence due to age-related decline in immunity.) 

This is testimony to the CDC’s willingness to pursue a policy for which there are known and admitted  harms at a population level, but it also stands in contradiction to the policy elsewhere of targeting the young to protect adults (as with Hepatitis B and flu vaccine) since in this case it does the reverse: the only real consistent aim seems to be to push the most products to the great benefit only of the vaccine industry. 
John Stone is UK Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.



I landed on this site because on 11/12 my 7 year old daughter recieved a chicken pox booster. Today 11/29 i was diagnosed with shingles behind my right ear and down my neck. Im 43 years old, and in good where is there any warning this could happen. I am apparently expected to believe it is a coincidenc?

Mountainland Applied Tech

Its hard to track the effects of vaccines. They give us immediate results which we like but who knows how it will effect us years down the road.


Just another excuse to say that people now need a chicken pox booster every 20 years. Instead of letting kids get this normal childhood illness, they'll have to get more shots as adults to keep from getting seriously ill from shingles. More money in the till for vaccine companies and that's what matters most, right?

John Stone

A further report is now available on ChildHealthSafety:


"Mom23boys," I found my chickenpox parties on a Yahoo groups for chickenpox parties. There are several such groups on Yahoo Groups.

It took several parties for my kids to catch it. It works best to get exposed at the very beginning of the illness.


Good overview of the chickenpox/shingles phenomena and history:


Vaccines beget more vaccines... a child vaccinated for chicken pox needs a booster and will next need a shingles vaccine. Plus the herpes virus was spread through a vaccine in my childhood... it was in the oral polio vaccine which may have explained why I got shingles at age 13, which is a very young case, again, probably from the oral polio vaccine which had the herpes virus found in it. Its time to go back to nature. Get our troops out of wars. Bring back the family and neighborhoods. Get big corporations out of our lives.


maurine, we get that. no matter what the exposure, natural or vax, same virus, still stays in the body, still creates risk for shingles. however, being reexposed to the herpes zoster through chicken pox in children tended to stave off shingles in all but a very small percentage of the elderly. not only is chicken pox being pushed into the older-aged children, the protective effect for the elderly is declining. in fact, Merck just did a study that showed since 1996 (beginning of varicella vax in the US) the recurrence rate for shingles in the elderly rose 3 times the expected rate. so what's your point? the vax is making what used to be a very innocuous childhood occurrence something that requires cradle to grave boosters. Bully for Merck!


Desperately seeking wild chicken pox for two un vaxed kids. Would love natural immunity.


My daughter's motor regression happened after VAR and DTaP at the same visit; there was a charge sent to the IOM (I think) last year to consider adding cerebellar ataxia to the VICP injury table for varicella vaccine, so it must be a fairly consistently reported adverse event. Don't know what ever happened with the charge, though.

If you look it up in FDAble database, there are numerous reports of varicella vaccine failure. I know one of my daughter's friends was fully vaccinated and got chicken pox last year. At first the pediatrician refused to believe it. So on top of causing neurological problems and creating an epidemiologic shift that makes shingles more prevalent, the darn thing doesn't always work!


My sister in law got Shingles after having her second child. My grandmother had them horribly as an elderly woman. They are unbearably painful and debilitating. I guess that's a case of where the children really DO protect the elderly by virtue of their illness. I'm sorry for your friend, Mark.

Maurine Meleck

For those who are confused: getting the chicken pox naturally and having lifetime immunity does not exclude one from getting the shingles at any time in life. In fact, having the chicken pox(no matter what way you got it)is the prerequisite for getting the shingles. Sorry.


The chicken pox vaccination history might be a good case-study for Vaccination Considerations 101. The initial justification in adding it to the burgeoning U.S. vax schedule was that children would only need ONE dose (even though they have been "boostering" all other vaccinations), and keeping care-givers from losing that week at work because of the pox would be worth the cost.

They happily fund Dr. Goldman's (I hope I have the correct name) research while his data was showing a decrease in cases of naturally acquired chicken pox, but when he starts reporting an increase in shingles in older populations (including adolescents) his funding is cut off. Never mind that shingles is far more dangerous and costly and the general public and doctors who swear to "First do no harm" might need to know about this.

At some point supposedly physicians were advised to not to give the varicella vaccination in combination with the MMR because they were seeing an increase in NEUROLOGICAL DAMAGE (my child received both at 12 months and she has neurological damage although some of her damage occurred before 12 months). Then sometime later the ProQuad vax is approved (Maybe they thought combining it into one syringe, even with the 10 times greater varicella antigen dose, would be safer?). ProQuad production is then halted, after a certain REAL investigative reporter informs us of undocumented cases of children developing autism in the trial groups, but the announced reason was something to the effect that they don't have enough antigen for both ProQuad and the now "useful" shingles vaccine.

That shingles vaccine with its high antigen count is unsafe to get if you have not had the chicken pox (What if you've only had the vaccination?), and those vaccinated for shingles may be an exposure risk for infants/immune compromised individuals for approximately a month? Has anything been made better through all this experimentation with this vaccination?

John Stone

I fear that shingles is more often than not a big deal - it made my dad's life a misery for two years (by which time he was in his 90s). If we had made sure he was exposed to the children when they had chicken-pox he might have been spared that (but we didn't know at the time). Now people who have had chicken-pox or have had the vaccine will be far more likely to get shingles because the natural infection has been suppressed in the community. People will get shingles more frequently and younger.

Mark Blaxill

I'm not sure everyone is getting the point about shingles. If you catch the chicken pox virus, varicella zoster, you alway have it. It's a herpes family virus. But a normally functioning immune system is able to prevent outbreaks; they're analagous to a genital herpes outbreak.

The core concern is that because children are no longer getting chicken pox, the natural immune boost that adults receive through exposure is reduced and that adults are therefore more vulnerable to a resurgence of the virus in the form of shingles.

Shingles in adults is more serious and now rising because natural chicken pox is declining and with it the opportunity for the natural immune boosts that prevent shingles. I have a personal connection to this. My boss for 20 years at my old consulting firm retired. On a vacation in Florida, he came down with shingles. He died.

Kathy Blanco

All four of my kids, two with autism got chicken pox within a week. It was a wondeful time to reconnect, bathe, soothe and comfort and complain of the itchies, and boom, it was over. I think mothers forgot about mothering through these innocuous diseases. I kept giving my kids CLO and VIT A, and whala, it was a very handible disease. Now I know they have lifetime immunity, and no chances for shingles in later life. And my kids have immune there you go.


Guys (and Ladies),

Let's not let this one get out of hand. I had the chicken pox when I was 8. Then, I got the shingles when I was 20, after a very stressful few weeks (shingles comes on due to acute stress they say).

It lasted about 5 days, and after day 3, I got the zovirax and felt all better. It was not a big deal.

Mercury stuck in the brain permanently would have been a far bigger deal.


There is trouble with the chicken pox vaccines!
I saw them tested in the 90's by our pediatrician. It looked like scenes out of the Norman Rockwell paintings.
Happy mothers, children, and Dr. Block all taking blood samples, giving the shots, discussing, and talking gayly.
While I and my kids were slinking in the shadows like a whipped pups licking our wounds.
Dr. Block at the end of the study had his name and what he had tested so proudly displayed in the local paper.
How can this be?
That I and my kids are ?????


My nephew developed juvenile diabetes after ProQuad. Amazing that they have suspiciously stopped making that particular vaccine...

John Stone

We shouldn't, of course, forget the remarkable series of 'Pox' articles that Dan wrote back in 2006, all curated by Sandy Gottsten here:

I well recall the little boy round the corner who was one the Royal Free's early MMR cases having repeated recurrences of chicken-pox. It just kept coming back.


A little off-topic but speaking of CDC numbers the latest MMWR shows 59 cases of measles so far this year. So, if the shocking rise to 140 cases last year was due to Jenny McCarthy and the like, why the drop this year? Haven't we just gotten louder and more dangerous this year?

And where the hell is the headline, "Measles Rates Drop More Than Two-fold in 2009"


If you look at the research showing that people who are exposed regularly to chicken pox maintain their immunity levels to prevent shingles, and you put the suggestion into the company's suggestion box that if you wipe out kids having chicken pox with a vaccine would you win pharma employee of the month for creating an enormous need for shingles vaccine and boosters?


My older son, who had the chicken pox vax when we were still doing that, had an odd rash last year, that I thought might be chicken pox, but it went away within a day. I would have liked if it had been pox, as I had it as a child and could have used the booster, and my younger unvaxed son could have been exposed. However, my husband never had the chicken pox (at least he never had the rash) so that would have been tricky. Perhaps my husband, who still trusts vaccines, can get a chicken pox and/or shingles vaccine and the rest of us will try to find the wild version.


Already seen shingles a two year old.


All live vaccines like chicken pox should be banned. While they are at it ban ALL vaccines.


I believe my son was injured by ProQuad, an MMR vaccine that includes a varicella vaccine making the shot a four in one MMRV. As a result of the injury he suffered a regression and has been diagnosed with autism. So not only is he brain injured because of the vaccine, this report is saying that he will more than likely break out with the shingles later on because of it?

Freakin' great, anything else Ben can look forward to?

Maurine Meleck

Here is my chicken pox story in brief points:
1. I(a grandmother) got the shingles in 2007.
2. My grandson(vaccine injured) who lives with me, got the chicken pox from my shingles.
3. My grandson had the chicken pox vaccine as a toddler.
4. My grandson has high titers in four of the herpes related viruses.


Robin Rowlands

Room 666 ( The Band Played On )
Severely disabled Autistic kids and their parents;
Who Else?
How do you define failure?
Still staring at the empty room?
Wake up Kathy

Robin Rowlands


I worked hard to find a chickenpox party for my unvaccinated kids. Every 5 or so years, I plan on finding another one, to get my kids and my husband and i a natural booster to protect us from shingles.


I know two young women, late teens and early twenties, who've had to deal with shingles in the past 5 years. I had never heard of anyway having shingles that young prior.

Since my children have also had this vaccination, but I don't dare let them have any "boosters," and I often wonder what their risk for shingles is.

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