Some parents take their children to “pox parties” to expose them to the chickenpox virus and encourage immunity. Health experts suggest just vaccinating your kids instead.
Not only is the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine safe and effective, but by protecting children who receive the vaccine, it also contributes to “herd immunity,” further safeguarding infants who are too young for the shot, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.
Chickenpox is so common a childhood illness that many people don’t realize it can be serious, especially in babies, who tend to be more vulnerable to fever and skin and ear infections and, rarely, potentially fatal complications like pneumonia. (In in the pre-vaccine era, infants were four times more likely to die from chickenpox than children over age 1.)
Parents are increasingly opting out of many other routine childhood vaccinations as well, in part because of lingering concerns over vaccine safety. As many studies have shown, however, the potential for harm is much greater when parents don’t vaccinate their kids.
Credit: @Stevesilberman via Twitter
So we now got studies to show that the chickenpox vaccine is not only safe for kids and adults but also helps infants and babies not get the illness.
With this in mind, it’s a much better idea to vaccine your kids rather than attending so-called pox parties which might cause more harm than usefulness.