Antivax GOP Kentucky governor exposed his kids to chickenpox on purpose so they'd get sick


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Some falsely believe chickenpox is a harmless disease, but it can lead to death in children and adults who suffer complications.


Dear Mr Bevin:

May you feel every twinge of pain every one of them gets when they get shingles. You will only wish you were dead.

P.S. You’re an asshole.


seriously, this is child abuse.


How do you wind up this stupid? A vaccine that’s 24 years old, that keeps you from getting fucking shingles is something we should get herd immunity with. Shingles drops the people I know who have it for a week, at minimum.


I remember MANY families doing this while growing up in 1970s and 80s Santa Monica, California – the chicken pox vaccine was approved in the US in 1995 and this went from “good practice” to “inhumane” instantly.


When there wasn’t a vaccine, having your kids (not babies) get chicken pox earlier rather than later was better, and it made sense to do your best to make that happen.

When we know better (or have better options), we should do better.


Honestly. Chicken pox? All my friends had it, I had it, my kids all had it. What is this hysteria about?

I also had all my kids vaccinated against the real threats, and hope they follow suit when they have theirs, but this reeks of big pharma worming it’s way into our collective common sense.

Are the chicken pox vaccinations donated? Free? Or is there somebody who foots a bill to the drug company with the vaccine…


I had chicken pox, and in my 50s I had shingles. My son had the vaccine, so he will miss the fun of shingles. Best money I ever spent, well after the money I spent on MMR and tetanus.


I dunno, you might try RTFA.
It kills people. Not a lot, but some. Those people die completely unnecessarily.
Getting infected means you can get shingles later. That can be extremely painful to the point of being actually debilitating.
But, you know, deaths. Fucking deaths. How is that hard to understand?


Dude, there has been a very long discussion of this topic already.

With science, data and facts. Over here we really love those things.



Clue time: “chicken pox” is herpes. You know, like “herpes is forever?” Yeah, that. Having chicken pox doesn’t make you immune, it just makes you permanently infected. “Shingles” is just the infection reactivating.

There is no reservoir for herpes zoster other than humans, so like smallpox, polio, and measles it’s a candidate for genuinely permanent eradication. Repeat: eradication. Like, nobody ever gets sick and we could retire the vaccines. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

What’s standing, right now, in the way of polio eradication is (drumroll) religious whackjobs blocking vaccination in a few parts of Africa and South Asia. They’re the ones keeping the nasty thing going. What’s standing in the way of measles eradication is people who don’t even have the excuse of being ignorant followers of radical imams, although the “ignorant” still applies to some (like the Texas legislator who says that measles is OK because antibiotics.) And chicken pox, likewise.

You try to explain how they’re better off to a child who lost her sight to herpes zoster, or another who had to be hospitalized and ventilated because of blisters in his airway, or (shudder) a 6-year-old with the pox on her genitalia. Tell them that your precious darlings are just fine and it’s all in all better that they’re spreading the wild virus around.

I’ll wait.


I’m 41, and I remember this approach being fairly common as a kid. I don’t support it, but I can understand how it may take more than a few decades for such practices to work their way out of culture.

I also had shingles about 5 years ago — thankfully it was more annoying than debilitating, probably because I got it at a fairly young age. Was during a pretty stressful period, so I’m not surprised that’s when it expressed.

Really hoping to avoid round 3!


That guy looks like he’s had one too many hits to the head.

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Colloquially, medically they’ve always been considered a bad idea. Cause them complications are bad, and such practices can spread outbreak further and longer then they otherwise might. Plus chicken pox is really dangerous under 18 months or over a certain age. I know a few people who ended up hospitalized for months in highschool after picking it up through kids infected at pox parties. The vaccine came out in 95 but it wasn’t routine or part of the schedule of vaccines until the 00’s.

Plus the popularity of pox parties in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s has been pegged as one potential cause for current, ongoing, outbreaks of shingles among 30-50 year olds. A much younger age bracket than is usual. I even know some people in their 20’s who’ve come down with it recently. That’s pretty unheard of, used to be an old people disease, 60+.

Then of course there’s the fact that the idea has also been applied to measles, flu, whooping cough and bunch of other shit that’s much more likely to kill you.

It can kill you.

People are saying the same shit about measles right now.

No it isn’t. Chicken Pox is Varicella Zoster Herpes is Herpes Simplex Virus.

Two (or actually 3) different viruses. They’re related, and blocked together as a family of viruses termed “Herpes Viruses”. But that’s a bit like claiming a crow is a parrot because they’re both birds of roughly the same sort.

Herpes is persistent, but largely harmless. 60-95% of the human population (depending on which population you’re looking at) are infected with HSV1 or HSV2. And the VAST majority will never experience a symptom. There’s no vaccine here.

Zoster isn’t harmless. Nearly everyone infected with it will experience nasty symptoms. And we totes have multiple vaccines.

Its less the practice taking its time to work its way out of the culture. Than it is the anti-vax crowd promoting the idea and claiming that immunity provided is better and safer than that provided by vaccines. The anti-vax people have been promoting deliberately infecting your kids with measles, mumps, flu and a whole host of dangerous and potentially deadly childhood illnesses.

Don’t seem to have started infecting their kids with Polio yet.


If you had the chickenpox when you were a kid, and you’re in your 50’s, there’s a vaccine called Shingrix that will give you a 90% + chance of avoiding shingles. It cost me about $130, required two injections*, and I got it at my grocery store. If you’re older than 50, you don’t need a prescription.

(* edited to add that the two injections are timed 3 months apart.)


I’m sure they’ll get around to it!

Listen, I’m not antivax at all, but I do wonder, have there been multiple definitive studies that show no links between autism and the entirety of the vaccine schedule in concert? I am aware of studies that show no links between autism and individual vaccines, but what about the host of them in concert? There kind of is a difference.


Yes, but that’s because the Chicken Pox vaccine wasn’t available when you or I were kids so the rationale was “if we can’t protect our children from infection then we might as well get it over with when they’re young.”


So far as I know yes. Not only has just about every vaccine commonly given been checked on its own at this point. But multiple large studies have looked at effects from the vaccine schedule itself, and compared different vaccine schedules. There have been a ton of review articles and meta-analyses aggregating all that info. Bubkis. No link, or replicable effect has ever been identified by credible, quality research. And it hasn’t even produced anything worth following up vis a vis causes of autism.

And on the other side of it there are no reliable studies showing a link between any individual vaccine and autism. The idea came from this douche. The initial “research” behind the idea has since been proven to be fabricated. And Mr. Wakefield has since had his medical license taken away. It’s an idea without a plausible mechanism behind it. And the only reason why legit research needed to be conducted to investigate the idea was to push back on the public health crisis caused by rising vaccine denial. It wasn’t done to follow up on an identified correlation, or a hypothesis spurred by genuine effect. Hell most of the features of vaccines fingered as the potential root, are not true or as in the case of Thimerosal were removed from almost all vaccines decades ago.

Its an idea based in a lie. A lie a doctor was paid to tell. And he continued with because he thought he could profit by pushing people to his patented and slightly different vaccines.

ETA: I don’t need to spend all night linking about a billion articles to give you the sources on this but its all been heavily covered by the following:

Ben Goldacre
Science Based Medicine

And others.

ETA2: OH and the whole concept is rooted in a supposed increase in Autism incidence. Which there isn’t. We’re better at diagnosing it earlier. And we rolled a bunch of stuff we didn’t used to call Autism into “Autism Spectrum Disorder”. Like Asbergers, didn’t used to be considered Autism. And Dustin Hoffman in that one terrible movie with Tom Cruise. That used to be “Savant Syndrome”.


Yep, I get that. Removing the rest of my comment kind of, you know, removes some context to that quote of mine. :wink:


Yep. I initially thought my parents did this because we visited my cousin when he had chicken pox. We got sick shortly after.

I checked with my mom and older sister. The timing was close, but no dice. Maybe a month after the visit. We were not allowed near the cousin with the pox (across the room was closest we came). Still, was before the vaccine existed, maybe 89 or 90?