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


Me too, and measles, but not whooping cough or, as far as I recall, rubella. It was just what happened, and if you were lucky it didn’t kill you or cause permanent damage.

I’m even old enough to have a whopping great scar on my upper arm from a smallpox vaccination, which kids don’t need these days because we have wiped it out. Yay vaccines!



Might it be because there was a number of case where the vaccine making companies abused the trust of populations to make a quick buck, which tends to break trusts put in you. It might also be because the ‘hysteria’ (quoting a previous post) surrounding this specific case doesn’t fit the observed local reality: case in point, everyone in my family from my generation (I’m in my 40’s) up to my great-grandparents had chickenpox as kids and not one contracted shingles (we’re talking around 25 people). In that discussion, one of the main argument I’ve seen used to explain why the chickenpox vaccine must be used was the inevitability of shingles once you’d been infected.

So, on the one hand you will have people who’ve had to face worst case scenarios of various degrees (on a spectrum going from death to a mostly benign case of shingles). On the other hand you have people who have witnessed a number of cases where there was no problem in having contracted chickenpox and who know about the risks involved (remember, there is NO medical treatment without any kind of risk, however low).
If you believe these two points of view can easily reconcile (never mind having one side convincing the other), I’d suggest reading an introductory book about human psychology.



Please buddy, be honest: you actually don’t go to your doctor and question what he’s prescribing you based on what other similar populations in European countries are prescribed, do you?

A good doctor is the same as a good mechanic: you go to him or her because they know their shit, about things you don’t know about. Partially because medicine is pretty boring, counterintuitive and excruciatingly complicated.

The proof though is in the pudding. For all the years of stupid pointless questioning of miracle medicines, we get, not surprisingly: totally unessesary recurrence of deadly disease.

Additionally: if you’d like a more effective and humane health care system (like the ones in Europe 1!1!1!!1!1) but you can’t be bothered to participate in the most basic of public health disease prevention, well I do believe you’re up sh1ts literal creek.



To be clear the anti-vax crowd is kind of nuts.

Although not all of them probably think this I’m betting more than a few remember the government trials of MK Ultra and it’s the idea that the u.s. government might be putting something in the vaccines other than the vaccine whatever that might be.

No amount of science will get rid of these people because they don’t believe in science when it comes to this issue. Personally I don’t take medicine unless I absolutely need it but I’ve also been hospitalized for pneumonia when I was young so I trust science to keep me safe



The vaccine causes more shingles because adults (pre-vaccine population) who had chickenpox, and are at risk for developing shingles, do not get the regular exposure to kiddos with chickenpox, and do not get their immune system periodically re-exposed, lowering their ability to keep the latent varicella hiding in their nerves in the latent stage. Think of exposure to sick kids (when you’re immune to chickenpox from having had it as a child) as a sort of natural vaccination. If you don’t get these periodic natural immune boosts, you’re more likely to get shingles as your immune system isn’t as primed to handle the virus that causes both chickenpox and shingles.

The second statement is that you can vaccinate people who will have exposure to non-vaccinatable people to artificially boost their immunity (and thus keep them from exposing the unvaccinated to the disease causing virus).

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So the governments and public health services of the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and a whole host of other developed countries with better health outcomes than the US by essentially every metric that exists are ''morally bankrupt"?



Errrgh, I’ll bite on this one. Long time reader, first time poster.

So I was the ripe age of “almost six” juuust a few years before the chickenpox vaccine was available (and a good bit before it was mandatory) – but just close enough that I nearly had to prove I had it to attend college after a few gap years. In any case, I came home from school one day with it, as was usual, and endured oatmeal baths and the general loss of dignity, just another learning experience on life’s small miseries, yes? And it was generally believed that the sooner the better, since it was understood that catching it later in life was a Very Bad Idea, what with complications and all. Better get it when you’re young!

But I had a sister, who was only months old at the time. The only reason we realized she’d caught it from me at all was the fact that her hair was still thin enough to see the couple of pox atop her head. And that was it, or at least for a good few years.

I’ll save you too many details, but I will never forget the MONTHS within my little sister’s middle school days taken from her by the nastiest shingles I’ve yet heard of. The exuberant dancer and marching band clarinet player, used to endurance like nerdy me couldn’t believe, knocked out on the couch and unable to do anything. Worse – nearly blinded because… remember where those pox were? That wasn’t insignificant, apparently. It bunkered down in the nerves there and ended up in her forehead…

So yeah, I remember chickenpox. I remember it being no big deal.

I also remember what “no big deal” did to my sis, and really wish the vaccine had existed back then. (So far, so good, on a lack of recurrences – but chances are high that when she gets older, it’ll be back. Hopefully that new anti-shingles vac will be enough to stave that off.)




There’s basically three things you can do with regard to a disease which can be vaccinated against:

  • vaccinate everyone
  • vaccinate at-risk groups and those who come into contact with them
  • vaccinate no-one

The argument between what the NHS and other European health systems do and what is done in the US is between the first two options, but it seems to be getting conflated here with the third option.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Governor’s rather mealy-mouthed “let people choose” is also an attempt to disguise the third option as the second.



No, they’re acknowledging that they’d only be able to do a half-assed job at vaccinations because people don’t treat it seriously enough, and many, but not everyone, being vaccinated would cause its own problems.



This sums up about 70% of the issues here:

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My sister and I both had it back in the 80s, and neither of us exactly had a good time. She had high fevers that nearly put her in the hospital and some of my sores got infected; I’m in my mid-40s now and I have pox scars that still occasionally flare up. So, yeah, not exactly something we want to have parties for when a shot, covered by nearly all insurance plans, prevent it in 2019.



This man is an idiot.

Not only can chickenpox be dangerous to many children, it also causes problems for many adults who contracted it when they were young…

Once a person has recovered from chickenpox varicella-zoster, the virus that causes chickenpox, often enters the nervous system where it lies dormant in nerve tissue around the spinal chord and brain. Years later it may reactivate and emerge as shingles, a painful, burning, itchy red rash with fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over.




Huh, you probably ought to tell the NHS that, because clearly they didn’t consider it when deciding against making it a part of the British vaccination schedule.

(Again, I’m not against the chickenpox vaccine, both my kids had it and I think all kids should, I just think when there’s scientific disagreement over a specific case like this we shouldn’t be shouting at each other like the other side are evil and/or idiots. (…which actual antivaxxers are.))


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