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The Chickenpox Vaccine Mess

When I was a child, nearly everybody became ill with chickenpox. Like nearly all kids, when I became ill with it, I stayed home from school about a week and fully recovered.

All that changed in 1995, when the FDA licensed and approved the live attenuated chickenpox (varicella) vaccine in persons aged >12 months. After the vaccine began to be used by most children, the incidence of chickenpox rapidly declined. However, due to continual outbreaks of chickenpox, a second dose of the chickenpox vaccine was added to the childhood immunization schedule in 2006.

Is the chickenpox vaccine effective at significantly lowering the incidence of chickenpox? Yes. Due to the vaccine, there is a significantly lowered incidence of chickenpox.

However, the most important question to ask is, “Has the chickenpox vaccine (along with the other 70 doses of vaccines given) improved the lives of our children and the rest of the population? The answer to that question is easy: No.

Yes, our children have less chickenpox due to the vaccine. However, shingles, a painful reoccurrence of chickenpox, has become an epidemic illness affecting both children and adults. The rapidly increased incidence of shingles is directly related to the use of the chickenpox vaccine. You see, we need chickenpox circulating in the environment to tweak our immune systems in order to stay alert. With the effectiveness of the chickenpox vaccine, our immune systems are no longer stimulated with the varicella virus (the virus that causes both chickenpox and shingles) which allows the reactivation of the chickenpox virus—shingles– to develop. Studies have shown that we spend more money treating shingles than the savings due to the lowered rate of chickenpox. And, shingles can develop into a chronic, debilitating disease and can cause death.

I keep hearing the mantra that vaccines are safe and effective. That is simply not true. Vaccines are associated with a host of adverse effects. In the case of the chickenpox vaccine, a recent study looked at the adverse effects of this therapy.

The study concluded, “We identified no new or unexpected safety concerns for the second-dose varicella vaccine.” (1)

However, when the entire study is read, a different picture is formed. The authors found 14,641 reports (from 2006-2014) to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) after the second dose of the chickenpox vaccine. VAERS is a voluntary reporting system designed to collect information about adverse effects from vaccinations. It is estimated that only 1-10% of all vaccine-related adverse effects are reported to VAERS since it is a voluntary system. (2) Since it is a voluntary system, there is no doubt that VAERS underestimates the adverse effects due to vaccines. I would venture a guess that most doctors who administer vaccines are unaware of VAERS. I know that is true from quizzing many doctors about whether they are aware of VAERS.

According to the study, 3% of the adverse reactions were classified as serious. Serious adverse reactions included anaphylaxis (83), meningitis (5), encephalitis—inflammation of the brain (16), cellulitis (52), chickenpox (6), shingles (6), and death (7).

Keep in mind that only 1-10% of all adverse reactions to vaccines are thought to be reported to VAERS. So, the numbers of adverse reactions may be multiplied by 10-100 to achieve the true numbers. The CDC estimates that around 100 people died per year due to chickenpox infection before the vaccine. However, the vast majority of those that died had other serious medical issues. When you factor in the under-reporting to VAERS, the chickenpox vaccine does not look so good. In fact, it is a perfect example of the metaphor, “Robbing Peter to pay Paul”.

There is no question that the chickenpox vaccine has lowered the incidence of chickenpox. However, the vaccine is not 100% safe as the study’s data shows. However, the real problem with the vaccine is that it does not provide life-long immunity. Therefore, it is logical to assume that we have created a whole generation of young adults who have received the chickenpox vaccine who are not immune to chickenpox. The benefit of getting natural chickenpox infection as a child is that the child is immune for life; not so with the vaccine. Furthermore, a real danger of chickenpox occurs in pregnant mothers and newborn children. Chickenpox in the first trimester of pregnancy can cause congenital varicella syndrome characterized by birth defects. A newborn baby is particularly vulnerable to serous effects from becoming ill with chickenpox. A mother that had a natural infection with chickenpox would normally pass short-term immunity to prevent the infection to her newborn baby. The protection of her baby against chickenpox does not occur in a woman immunized with chickenpox as this passive transfer of immunity does not occur with vaccination.

We would have been better off letting over 95% of our children become ill and recovering from chickenpox. These children would have life-long protection against chickenpox and there would be no worry about congenital varicella syndrome or their newborn children becoming ill with chickenpox.

Folks, we have a mess on our hands. We have immunized our children against a disease that they did not need to be immunized against. There are many studies showing that the immune system is healthier when exposed to and recovers from common childhood illnesses like chicken pox (and measles). Now, because of the chickenpox vaccine, we have an epidemic of shingles and a young population that is not fully immune to chickenpox. And, as I showed your earlier, the vaccine is not 100% safe.

If I knew my children were going to get chickenpox next week, would I recommend the vaccination? No way. I would ensure that they were nutritionally sound, eating a healthy diet and fully hydrated. Then, if they became ill, I would have them stay home from school to rest and I would take care of them until they recovered. And, I would use a lot of vitamin C. After recovering from the illness, my daughters would not have to fear becoming sick with chickenpox when they are pregnant.

There is a risk/benefit ratio for every choice in health care. In the case of the chickenpox vaccine, I think the long-term risk is too high with the chickenpox vaccine. The chickenpox vaccine mess should never have occurred.


Author Info

David Brownstein, M.D.

Comments ( 58 )

  • Author Icon

    OMG, I am so glad to read all these comments and I can’t wait to read some of the sites mentioned. I am so against all these vaccines that are being pushed on people. Every year I am required the flu vaccine, because I work as Registered Nurse. I continue to refuse the flu vaccination which only shows about 23 % effective. I am then forced to wear a mask from November till May. I actually feel more protected than the people who are about 23 % protected. Often people I work with get the flu shot and then later the flu. It seems it is all about BIG $$$ for the pharmaceuticals and they run this contry’s like the big tobacco companies did and now also NRA. I was hoping that Trump was going to do something about the vaccines, when he was first elected he came out strong against them but off course they are running him.
    Are there any statistics (I know they also say there is no link between vaccines and Autism) but are there research showing that kids with Autism were or weren’t vaccinates? In other word’s how many children with Autism were not vaccinated, or how many children with Autism were vaccinated?

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    And now, of course, there is a huge market for the shingles vaccination supported by non-stop television advertising. I happened to be in a pharmacy that employs a nurse to administer vaccinations. She appeared to be friendly and well-liked. Jovial seniors came in to book their shingles vaccination. I over heard the price – – $180. This is in Canada; I don’t know the cost in the USA. Not enough that they get the youngsters – – they can get the old folks, too. Lambs to the slaughter. Ignorance and sitting in front of the TV is costly!

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    Linda Morris

    THIS REALLY PISSES ME OFF, as this HAS and IS happening to me.

    I got this two dose shot in 1995 while undergoing Chemo because of an outbreak in the hospital where I was in isolation

    GUESS what I got in Dec 2016
    Yes you guessed it


    CURRENTLY on my 3rd recurrence and it is May 2017

    it is too bad that the people who gave me the shot can’t be held responsible.

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    I knew this information in my heart 10+ years ago when my 4 year old daughter broke out with shingles. The doctor would not accept my reasoning though. I was concerned because 4 year olds don’t get shingles, or at least that’s what I thought. I believed the vaccine was responsible but my concerns were dismissed and was told that was simply NOT possible. Terrible.

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    I see that you cited your source, but as I try to go to that particular study (my husband won’t accept information as true without seeing the actual study – so I always search them out), I can’t seem to get it to come up on the AAP site. Maybe I’m just not searching correctly(?). I am due to have a baby in 10 weeks and as my first has life threatening food allergies (fully vaxxed besides MMR booster – we were just blindly following our doctor’s orders)… I really am trying to find studies so as to convince my husband that vaccinating is NOT in our best interest!

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    I had a serious case of chickenpox as a child. At 62, my doctor convinced me to get a shingles shot. For a month afterwards I had a mild, itchy rash spreading out from the injection site. Do you think the injection did more harm or good, or is there any way to tell?
    Interestingly, son came down with chicken pox a week before the vaccine became available, and his sister a week later. We laughed about the timing, but now I think it was such a blessing in disguise.

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    Ruth Falk

    Dr. B,
    Am I right that since I had measles as a child that I can’t get shingles now as a 65 year old? And therefore I do not need the shingles vaccine that the doctors are pushing?
    Ontario, Canada. Thanks for all your writing.

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    Lori Hansen

    Thank you for the previous response Dr B. In follow up, do we know for sure that if a child is exposed to the weeping shingles virus that it would present itself in the form of chickenpox and not as shingles? And in your opinion, should we do this, as we once did in exposing our kids to chickenpox? Thanks.

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    David Brownstein

    My bad. I corrected that piece of news.

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    Lisa Ostendorf

    Margie C., I totally agree with you!! You go! We all need to join groups to fight the increasing government and corporate control over our freedoms, and our Health!! We need to be free to decide what is right for us, and having access to Accurate information!!

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    Lisa Ostendorf

    Dr. B, Since now most children, especially in Ca., have been vaccinated with the Chicken Pox vaccine, should older adults get vaccinated for shingles? I mostly hate vaccines, since they are so full of toxins, and we get far too many, but the older generation is not getting the benefit of being re-exposed to the virus, so they are more prone to developing shingles. Is there any benefit to the shingles vax? Maybe there is one being made without mercury, aluminum, msg, glyphosate, etc., so it might be worth it?

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    Margie C

    Yes, yes yes! I am watching Ty Bollinger’s The Truth About Vaccines as well. I very strongly advise all of you to purchase this series especially if you haven’t been watching it. ALL vaccines are full of toxins and cause brain and many other types of damage especially to babies and young children. When I grew up we didn’t have a lot of vaccines. I had the chicken pox as did everyone else at school and no one was in the hospital or died. We were just mildly sick with itchy “pox” on us. That does not immunize you from the Shingles, so I have to argue with Dr B. about that one. I got the Shingles 5 years ago and it was very painful and miserable, but I lived through it.. I also used to get oral herpes which is the Chicken Pox virus as well, but my immune system is much stronger now and I don’t get it anymore. I have been threatened to be fired from my job for refusing the flu vaccine and lectured by doctors about the pneumonia vaccine, since I am a senior. Let them fire me, I told them. My doctor was not happy about the situation and wrote a letter that allowed me an exemption, which I understand may not be allowed any longer, even for allergies to them! PEOPLE WAKE UP AND UNITE. FIGHT THIS THING!! REFUSE VACCINES AND “THEY” WILL HAVE TO START LISTENING TO US. “They” are making a new generation of compromised and brain damaged people to lead the world in the future. WHAT?? Also responsible for mental and physical demise are the chemicals on our food and in our personal care products. Great way to be able to get the masses to be sheep and do whatever the “leaders” tell us without question. I see that happening to a much to great degree now.
    Thanks for letting me rant and scream.

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    “David Brownstein says:
    I did not mean that varicella causes both diseases. What I meant was that the immune system is healthier for being exposed to and recovering from viral infections such as chickenpox and measles.
    I hope that clarifies it,

    No, you did state that varicella causes both chickenpox and measles. It does not. The immune system will not protect you against one if you have had the other one any more than having the flu will protect from rabies. They are different viruses – Varicella is a type of herpes virus, measles virus is Paramyxoviridae (a RNA virus).

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    All true and well documented. In fact this very case study is fast becoming the smoking gun proof that vaccines do not provide”herd immunity” as is often claimed, but actually destroy it. I had chickenpox in first grade and recovered quickly. Yet In 2002, when I was 27, my niece was given the Chickenpox vaccine and shed the virus to me. This resulted in my flaring up with a nasty and painful case of shingles for which I was prescribed multiple pharmaceuticals and missed a week of work over. What’s crazy is that I am former college athletes and military officer and have always been the picture of peak physical health. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been sick in the last 20 years. And without question the worst case was this one. Among the general population I can only assume the effects are even more severe. Despite this vaccine being sold to all of us as a prevention measure in the interest of public health. Every aspect of my own experience tells exactly the opposite tale. The Chickenpox vaccine is a blight on public health and herd immunity. The studies confirming this are growing at an increasing rate every day. Just don’t expect to hear about it on TV. They make over 50% of their revenues by airing the commercials and suppressing these facts. So take it from someone who has been there and avoid this vaccine.

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    Danilo Bartl

    It appears that the virus that causes measles is distinct from the virus that causes chicken pox. This blog states “varicella virus (the virus that causes both chickenpox and measles)”. Could you set this straight. It appears that a combination vaccine is used against both (and others) but that they are different viruses. ???

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    So I’m confused. My son had chickenpox when he was three and then in college he got shingles. He never had the vaccine. Also is the shingles vaccine for older adults useful?

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    Linda B

    There is nothing truer than….’yesterday’s solutions are today’s problems!’ What a mess!
    I also have a vaccine injured child ..double hepA/B shot. Got very unwell. Eventually Went to school still sick (as she was bored) and was…. on that particularly fateful choice of days to attend….regardless of her ill health …..still administered her first HPV SHOT ..followed now by the eight long years of chronic fatigue so far. Missed her entire teen life. Now 21. Not good! She has had none of the childhood illnesses either and in hindsight if she had experienced these before this great medical cock up perhaps it would be better. If she gets them now it may well decimate her already struggling health.

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    My kids all got chicken pox after being exposed to my husband that came down with shingles during a stressful time taking care of a dying parent. I had other parents in our neighborhood bring their kids by to be exposed to the chicken pox. This worked out well. One school chum’s mom “borrowed” a used pillowcase for her child to be exposed to the chicken pox virus.

    My dilemma now is the Mmr and meningitis vaccines required to attend University. My son was not vaccinated after a reaction to one dose of MMR. The pediatrician was not originally from the United States. When I can in with my screaming infant to talk to about what had occurred he screamed at me rhat he came from a third world country where people were dying every day. He said everyone should be vaccinated period. I left and never went back. I was able to fill out exemptions during his elementary and high school years. But University is trying to bully us into vaccines. I never had a medical exemption because the pediatrician would give it.

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    I did not know if I had chickenpox until in my 30’s, I brought it home to my 2 kids. I remember my 10-year old son looking at me accusingly and saying, “You gave me chickenpops”.
    Maybe they were more fortunate to get it at their ages approx.- 10 & 13.

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    Lori Hansen

    Dr B,
    If the chickenpox virus and the shingles virus are the same, would it benefit exposing our children to those who have shingles?

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    Brigitte jones

    Totaly get your theory on this– I was vaccinated as a child and still got chicken pox in my twenty’s and also got shingles. Big pharma’s greed fuels much!

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    I also want to add that the lessening of the benefit of exposure to chicken pox cannot be seen as an excuse for our not looking to maintain immune health. Nature does provide some benefits here, but a lot of this is our own responsibility as well. If nature is helping less, we need to pick up the slack. The majority of people neglect their immune system and this is why they get sick so often with viral infections, both in terms of the number and the severity of them. We cannot just leave this up to fate.

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    This vaccine increasing the incidence of shingles sounds compelling to us but that’s actually a bonus. We don’t want to make the mistaken assumption that the goal is to reduce spending, it’s to increase it, and now people buy the vaccine and pay more for shingles treatment, they do know what they are doing! It is only when we realize that the goal of conventional medicine is to maximize illness that any of this starts making sense!

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    Since we are in this mess with chickenpox, what do you suggest these young mothers do? Should they try and expose their children to natural chicken pox (CP parties)? Or what should we do to get back on track?

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    Mary weigand

    Also, we seem to be seeing a rise in Shingles cases. Could the lower incidence of chicken pox cases be contributing to this? Adults who had chicken pox as children are not being exposed to kids with chicken pox because of the vaccine so they don’t get the boost to their immunity towards the virus. As an older adult, as their immune system is compromised the virus comes out in the form of Shingles. Any comments on that, Dr. B.? Thanks,

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    Folks we are in real trouble, and I mean very serious trouble.
    Just finished watching “Vaccines Revealed” now watching “The Truth About Vaccines” this was never ever about protecting anyone.

    All about $$$$$$.

    We have a vaccine injured child, who will never live on their own, marry or even date. It has taken me almost 13 yrs to figure it out. All of his high fevers, ear infections and eyes rolling up into his head.

    I was a stay at home mother, nutrition expert and did everything to raise healthy children. After the age of nine I saw him change, go down hill until he could not function. We are going now to get his full medical records.
    This whole thing about it being genetic is a farce in most of the cases.

    After learning that triple vaccines can so inflame the gut, and Dr David Perlmutter’s book, “Brain Maker” proves how our gut drives our brain, make sense when you screw up a babies gut it messes and inflames the brain.

    So why are we not all screaming our heads off? Why are we joining forces with people like Dr Brownstein and making it change?

    People either we become “Proactive” rather than “Reactive”?

    We have a huge cancer problem in children, sure does a great job of the bottom line for the “Cancer” Industry, yup you heard me right. Cancer is a cash cow!
    Oncologists keep half of every chemo treatment.
    So isn’t it time to take the words written here and go out and fight the battle.

    What will happen to my child after I am gone?

    It puts great fear in my heat.

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    I did not vaccinate either of my daughters. My older daughter, she’s 25 now had maybe one or two pox as a child, no fever no other indications that she had chicken pox. I was not sure if she had it all. Fast forward to her teenage years and a blood test revealed that she had immunity. I was thrilled. My younger daughter, 22, did not have the same luck. She also had a blood test that showed she does not have immunity. So what to do now? If there is as you say a possible problem during pregnancy what should she do? If there is now chicken pox and shingles ( which her father just had this summer) circulating in the the older population what is the best course of action for an adult that was not vacccinated as a child?

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    Whats scary is I never found anyone to expose my younger kids too. At 12 & 10 now, theyre walking timebombs. My 3rd got it at 9, finalllly, and she was horrrendously sick. Chicken pox needs to be a young child thing. My 19yo 1st time friend was hospitalized! My grandpa got shingles one time and was in agony quite a while. I got it during a very stressful time in my 40s. Mild case but it was painful. To think of shingles now in young ppl, makes my heart heavy.
    What a mess now with vaxx. TY AMA, et al.

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    Jennifer Brazytis

    I totally agree with this article! My concern as a mom is, with the majority of children being vaccinated, where will mine get chickenpox now? What is your opinion as a doctor? Is it better to not get the vaccine and just hope they get chickenpox sometime?

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    Ted Fogarty, MD

    Absolutely agree with you Dr. Brownstein and when you breakdown the costs of shingles now and in adults versus chickenpox in childhood you see immediately the error has significant financial consequences for our nation.

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    My oldest was just entering kindergarten when the varicella vaccine came into play. Luckily, he had already had the chicken pox a year before. I remember thinking how ridiculous this was … so I did some research. Seems the reason a vaccine came into play at all was because the powers that be, whoever those morons were, determined businesses were losing too much money/production was declining when mothers would have to take time off to stay home and care for their children who came down with chicken pox. INSANE! Had absolutely nothing to do with health and everything to do with greed and money … as is usually the case when it comes to this topic.

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