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if your child got chickenpox intentionally, how did you explain & deal with social stigma?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
DD is partially vaccinated, and we are thinking through what it would look like to go to a chicken pox party and try to get infected.

She is school age and we have an exemption, but no one knows this. So coming down with chicken pox would "out" us about having a child who is not 100% vaccinated. Given the hatred directed at non-vaccinators (in media, on Facebook, etc), we're worried about how we'd navigate it, and help DD navigate it. She is old enough that she would know what is going on.

Has anyone else been in this situation? What did you do/say? How did people react? Were there short-term or long-term social consequences?
post #2 of 17

I'm not a very good one to speak to this, but my understanding is that getting chicken pox is supposed to be more effective in building immunities reducing the severity of shingles attacks later on.  You could just simply say that you were waiting until she was older before you got the chicken pox vaccine specifically because you hoped she could get chicken pox instead. 

post #3 of 17
Most of the CP cases I've seen here are in kids who have gotten the cp shot, so that woudn't necessarily 'out' you.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by stormborn View Post

Most of the CP cases I've seen here are in kids who have gotten the cp shot, so that woudn't necessarily 'out' you.

My unvaxxed daughter had chicken pox last year.  She gave it to some unvaxxed kids who gave it to 2 vaxxed brothers.  My sister suspects her vaxxed son might have had a mild case at the same time as DD.  

post #5 of 17

If anyone says anything, you can say, "The CDC says two doses of the chickenpox vaccine is only 88% effective."

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/varicella/hcp-effective-duration.htm 

 

You don't have to say your child wasn't vaccinated.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
That's all true, but it seems to me that people are likely to ask right out, "Was she vaccinated?" and the honest answer to that is no. I don't think I'll be comfortable lying. There are other parents in the school (friends of the family) who know the truth, and the principal knows because he granted our exemption. But it was the first one he ever granted in his 3 years as principal, so it's not like there are lots of kids with vaccine exemptions.

So if we successfully get chicken pox from a chicken pox party, I think we WILL be out and there will probably be stigma/judgment for us to deal with. Just wondering how others in this situation dealt with it.
post #7 of 17

You can say, "we decided to not give the chickenpox vaccine because..." If you just discuss the specific vaccine, most people will probably assume you vaccinate for other things. You  can mention the aborted fetal cell line, or a family history of chickenpox vaccine reactions, or the stronger immunity natural infection gives for both chickenpox and shingles. Or pick one ingredient from the vaccine that your children may have a sensitivity to, such as neomycin.

post #8 of 17

Don't ever feel pressured by others when it comes to the health of your baby.  I simply will never care what others think that I never gave my child chicken pox....I got chicken pox as a child like everyone else.  If your child gets chicken pox, and people ask if she was vaccinated, just be straight and tell them the truth.  If they cannot respect it, are they even worth the time?

post #9 of 17
Jebus - who vaccinates for chicken pox - I didn't even know you could. Just go along to the pox party and tell people that you don't discus your dd's health with non family members.
Personally I wouldn't do it - shingles is pretty rate and chicken pox is horrible. I've met one adult in my 40 years who had shingles -
She was super stressed and had a over active thyroid
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by moving toward View Post

Personally I wouldn't do it - shingles is pretty rate and chicken pox is horrible. I've met one adult in my 40 years who had shingles -
 

No.  Chicken pox is not horrible in the vast majority of kids, shingles is not rare, and frequently is horrible.  

post #11 of 17

When I was growing up (I'm 27 it wasn't that long ago) it was normal to try and have your kids catch CP and a convenient time. I don't think we're that removed from those days. Most cases of chicken pox are no worse than any normal cold or flu plus what looks and feels like a bad summer case of bug bites.

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by moving toward View Post

Jebus - who vaccinates for chicken pox - I didn't even know you could.

According to http://www.immunize.org/laws/varicel.asp , all 50 states plus the District of Columbia require that children receive the chicken pox vaccine (varicella) in order to attend public school. There is usually an exception made for children who already had a "natural" case of chicken pox.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by indigosky View Post


According to http://www.immunize.org/laws/varicel.asp , all 50 states plus the District of Columbia require that children receive the chicken pox vaccine (varicella) in order to attend public school. There is usually an exception made for children who already had a "natural" case of chicken pox.

All states offer some sort of exemeption.  Most are fairly easy to get, some are not.

 

http://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/state-vaccine-requirements.aspx

 

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
We have an exemption. It was VERY difficult to get -- we are the first time the principal has ever given one. Given that we may need to repeat the process for every school and college (and summer camp?) that either of our kids attend, the more we can reduce the number of vax we are asking for exemptions on, the better!
post #15 of 17

Mine were easy to get.  It really does depend where you live - no buying trouble before you know for sure.  

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ma2two View Post
 

If anyone says anything, you can say, "The CDC says two doses of the chickenpox vaccine is only 88% effective."

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/varicella/hcp-effective-duration.htm

 

You don't have to say your child wasn't vaccinated.

 

Perfect answer.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by indigosky View Post

That's all true, but it seems to me that people are likely to ask right out, "Was she vaccinated?" and the honest answer to that is no. I don't think I'll be comfortable lying.
 

 

The honest answer is "Oh, we prefer to keep our PPI to ourselves.  What do you think of this unseasonably warm weather?"

 

It is not a lie to withhold information from someone who is not entitled to have it.  No one is entitled to have your vaccine status.

 

Where do you live that exemptions are so hard to get?  You don't have to answer if you don't want to!  haha

post #17 of 17
Sorry chicken pox vax is not pushed in nz - obviously diff to the states, here shingles is rare, you aren't offered c pox vax and I just finished helping a mum of an otherwise healthy 3 year old deal with a nasty case that got passed on to her premmie, the 3 year old caught it after a mum thought it was no big deal and didn't bother keeping her kid at home from school.
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