Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wait, what? No, seriously, wait, what?

Ever have one of those days where you feel like you woke up in bearded-Spock world?

Here's the latest news story that made me go, "WTH, humanity, WTH?"

Parents buying chicken-pox-contaminated lollipops to avoid vaccinating their child.

Okay. I'm of the generation that dealt with chicken pox the old-fashioned way (my brother brought it home from kindergarten and I caught it - and yes, because I was some years older, I was really really sick with it). I'm not opposed to the vaccine, though now I see they're saying it doesn't grant lifelong immunity and kids will need boosters. (Having had the chicken pox seems to give stronger immunity, but it also gives one a risk of developing shingles later in life).

But here's the thing I don't get: "We think that vaccines are unsafe, so we're going to order a lollipop over the internet from a total stranger, and use that to infect our child." I'm a bit less skeeved out by the "pox parties" (a fad in some areas: when a kid comes down with chicken pox, you have a sleepover at their house, so your kids get it, too).

(At first I thought maybe it was that the vaccine manufacturer had decided to go to an oral vaccine - like how I was vaccinated against polio, back in the day - but that's not it at all. I have to admit I would support the idea of oral vaccines if they were as safe and effective as the jab-in-the-arm (or the butt) kind)

For one thing: Isn't sending an infectious disease through the US Mail illegal, not to mention, a really, really bad idea? What if there's a postal worker who's never had chicken pox, and they get exposed? And for that matter - what if the kid who licks the lolly to contaminate it has some other infection going on? And what's to stop some horrible creep from sending out lollies with, I don't know, Hep B or something on them?

I understand not wanting your kid to be a pincushion. (I hate shots myself). But I don't think this is a wise alternative.


Joel said...

I'm with you on this. While I'm not averse to a child having chicken pox early and getting it out of the way, this just seems insane.

Shortly before my ex-wife left my daughter and me, she had her play with kids who had chicken pox. It has a two-week incubation period, IIRC. But what the heck, dad had vacation time coming, right? (As it happened, she didn't get chicken pox that time, but did a year later.)

Kate P said...

I heard about that this week at book club! What on earth!?