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[–] axolotl__peyotl [S] 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

Selling Varicella

Chickenpox is a contagious disease caused by infection with varicella zoster virus.

Before the chickenpox vaccine was introduced in 1995, it was common for doctors to recommend exposing children to the disease because it is generally benign in childhood and complication rates increase when it is contracted by teenagers or adults.

When people regain their health after contracting chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the body. Later, when immunity weakens, the virus can become active again and cause shingles, also known as herpes zoster.

Immunity against shingles is strengthened by periodic exposures to the varicella virus. Before the chickenpox vaccine, frequent encounters with the varicella virus boosted antibody protection against shingles. Although chickenpox cases decreased after the introduction of the vaccine, this restricted opportunities to reinforce immunity and increased the rate of shingles.

Medical costs, pain, and suffering associated with shingles generally are much greater than with chickenpox. To address this problem, the maker of the chickenpox vaccine, Merck & Co. has developed and released a shingles vaccine.

In addition to causing a dramatic rise in shingles, the vaccine becomes less effective as rates increase. This is due to a reduction in opportunities for natural boosts to immunity which occur from exposure to people who are shedding the wild varicella virus.

In the prelicensure era, 95% of adults experienced natural chickenpox (usually as children)--these cases were usually benign and resulted in long-term immunity. Varicella vaccination is less effective than the natural immunity that existed in prevaccine communities.

Universal varicella vaccination has not proven to be cost-effective as increased herpes zoster morbidity has disproportionately offset cost savings associated with reductions in varicella disease. Universal varicella vaccination has failed to provide long-term protection from varicella zoster virus disease.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sponsored and promoted studies that showed positive outcomes of varicella vaccination but opposed, and attempted to block, publication of findings that were critical of the vaccination program.