NOTE: When Mia and Gianna were 3 and 2, the Varicella vaccine had just hit the market and I BEGGED their pediatrician for it. He refused to administer it to the girls telling me it was too new, and it was better for them to catch the chicken pox and be done with it for life. This was in 1998 or so. Not 1898. Governor Bevin gave his kids the gift of lifelong immunity from Varicella. The media will spin him into an anti-science monster who doesn't love his children. Nonsense. Below is a take on the story from the AofA POV.
Kentucky, known for mint juleps, great bourbon, and the Kentucky Derby, has been in the news, and not just about March Madness. It’s another kind of madness --- the horrendously, horrible treatment of those who believe in Vaccine Choice.
In separate areas of the state of Kentucky, two individuals are sharing their beliefs about vaccines, in the news. One is a high school senior who is suing, along with his family, the local Dept of Health. Check this out :
WALTON, Ky. —
A Northern Kentucky family is suing their health department because of an issue with the chickenpox vaccine.
Bill Kunkel said his son Jerome, 18, is being discriminated against because of his religious beliefs regarding a vaccine for chickenpox.
Jerome is a student at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy in Walton, Kentucky.
“I don't believe in that vaccine at all and they are trying to push it on us,” Bill Kunkle said. They say the belief is derived from their Christianity.
The Health Department said the chickenpox vaccine is the best way to prevent becoming ill and spreading the varicella virus. They said it is very safe and prevents almost all cases of severe illness. Ensure all members of your household are up to date on all vaccinations.
Note - Nothing subliminal about that message from the family or the vaccine commercial from the Health Department.
That was a few days ago and a tamer version of what is happening now. Here is the Washington Post. As you read, note the slew of sarcasm and an attempt to show a skewed moral compass in the family. They are being portrayed as “antivaxx,” It is a set-up.
Bill Kunkel used to vaccinate his children, before he read where some vaccines come from.
He is skeptical of the pharmaceutical industry’s motives and came across anti-vaxxer theories online, though they aren’t supported by science. But his main objection is about abortion. Decades ago, cells were taken from legally aborted fetuses to create some vaccines. Kunkel is Catholic. Vaccines derived from an abortion are, in his mind but not the church’s, immoral.
So he and his wife chose not to vaccinate their fourth child, Jerome.
Years later, that decision has positioned the Kunkels and their now 18-year-old son as the latest face of the nation’s anti-vaxxer movement — and exposed the tension between individual liberties and the public good. Since Feb. 5, Jerome’s K-12 Catholic school, Assumption Academy, has been experiencing an outbreak of Varicella zoster, the virus commonly known as chickenpox.
And I am going to stop her right there. Wow. Do you see what I mean and there is plenty more. Like a tabloid tongue, gossiping about the sordid affairs of some famous, immoral family. Instead we are talking about attending high school, playing basketball and being Catholic --- oh and “antivaxx.” This is not news but a cookie-cutter attack that we keep seeing around the country. Read the entire WashPo article as the ending that I am posting below leads us to an ironic development happening ALSO in Kentucky, and ALL over the news in the past hours:
The school canceled class on Friday and Monday and avoided interacting with reporters during a parent meeting last week about the outbreak.
It’s unclear if vaccinated students will return to school this week and how unvaccinated students will go about their studies during the quarantine.
Jerome Kunkel said he’s not sure how he’ll fill his time. He cleaned out his car, he said, and will probably begin practicing baseball with a teammate also kept from school by the ban. Three weeks is too short a time span to get a job, the high school student said. And he’s nervous about falling behind in class.
“He’s being penalized because he’s a healthy child,” Bill Kunkel said. “He may not ever get chickenpox.”
Kunkel said he attended “chickenpox parties” as a child and took his own children to one at his brother’s house, with the intention to expose children to the virus.
But health officials strongly urge parents not to do this because the virus can cause unpredictable and severe reactions. The Northern Kentucky Health Department recommends the vaccine in each of its letters to parents at Assumption Academy.
And as that bubble of comments made its way across the state, the Governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin, had this to say:
(CNN)Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said he made sure all his nine children were exposed to chickenpox and caught the disease instead of giving them a vaccine.
"They had it as children. They were miserable for a few days, and they all turned out fine," Bevin said in an interview with WKCT, a Bowling Green radio station.
Bevin and his wife, Glenna, have nine children between the ages of 5 and 16, according to his campaign website.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin
The governor says he supports parents who choose to get their children vaccinated and also those who decline to do so. But he said the decision shouldn't be up to the government.
"This is America," he said. "The federal government should not be forcing this upon people. They just shouldn't."
That is an amazing statement and our thanks to Governor Bevin for supporting what so many other keep saying. There is an effort to make vaccines the “good guys” and thus, unvaccinated people become “the bad guys.” What is really bad is that true science is being ignored, too much. If there are outbreaks it is wrong to scapegoat the unvaccinated, as the issue is that vaccination is not without error. It does not last and it causes unintended consequences. With Chicken Pox (Varicella), the failure of life-long immunity has become a never ending commercial of first ONE vaccine then TWO vaccines and pretty soon will we be told, THREE or MORE Varicella vaccines to prevent Chicken Pox? The connecting issue is that Shingles for all ages is increasing and it can be more serious. Some facts to ponder from real research and data, that you won’t get from WashPo or CNN:
Review of the United States universal varicella vaccination program: Herpes zoster incidence rates, cost-effectiveness, and vaccine efficacy based primarily on the Antelope Valley Varicella Active Surveillance Project data
Prior to the universal varicella vaccination program, 95% of adults experienced natural chickenpox (usually as pre-school to early elementary school children)—these cases were usually benign. In the prelicensure era, the periodic exogenous boosting that adults received from those shedding VZV resulted in long-term immunity. This high percentage of seropositive individuals and their long-term immunity have been compromised by the universal varicella vaccination of children which provides at best 70–90% protection [142, 163-166] that is temporary and of unknown duration—shifting chickenpox to a more vulnerable adult population which, as Dr. Jane Seward cautioned in 2007, carries 20 times more risk of death and 10–15 times more risk of hospitalization compared to chickenpox in children . Thus, the proponents for universal varicella vaccination have failed to consider increased HZ-related morbidity as well as the adverse effects of both the varicella and HZ vaccines which have more than offset the limited benefits associated with reductions in varicella disease. The universal varicella (Chicken Pox) vaccination program now requires a booster vaccine for children and an HZ (Shingles) vaccine to boost protection in adults. However, these are less effective than the natural immunity that existed in communities prior to licensure of the varicella vaccine. Hence, rather than eliminating varicella in children as promised, routine vaccination against varicella has proven extremely costly [60, 62,168] and has created continual cycles of treatment and disease.
Lastly, in that WashPo article, God, country and chickenpox: How an outbreak entangled one school in a vaccine showdown, the author highlights aborted fetuses and when you click on it, it takes you to this page, Immunization Action Coalition. Here is their list of financial contributors. You can see that Merck and other pharmaceutical companies are listed, and since Merck does make both Varicella and Shingles vaccines, and make millions of dollars from them, it seems pretty ridiculous to list this IAC as an unbiased resource.
As for Kentucky, their state motto is - United we stand, divided we fall - and that seems true more than ever.