Saturday, May 17, 2008

Shingles Booster Recommended by CDC

The CDC is recommending shingles booster shots for anyone over 60. Shingles is the more serious form of the chickenpox virus and can be dangerous in adults.

The more I read about epidemiology as it relates to increased vaccination, it seems that diseases just find new ways to work their ways into the population. Vaccines do not confer lifetime immunity the way getting the disease does, so we are told we need booster shots, and we can never be 100% sure we are immune. For example, mumps, one of the classic old childhood diseases, now occurs at higher rates in the older populations as the vaccines wear off. So, what you have are teens and adults getting it instead of school-age kids, and these older populations are the ones who are actually more susceptible to long-term damage (such as sterility in males). (This phenomenon was cited in Neil Z. Miller's Vaccine Safety Manual and Dr. Robert Mendelsohn's How to Raise a Healthy Child ... in Spite of Your Doctor.)

Natural chickenpox immunity, which (in my understanding) would have remained steady in the adult population because most adults had it as kids, is now collectively wearing off. Dr. Sherri Tenpenny explains in her DVD, Vaccines: The Risks, the Benefits, the Choices, that our adult immune systems sort of need our kids to get chickenpox so that we can get exposed to it again --- this re-exposure actually helps our immune systems "remember" the virus and bulk up again. But instead of allowing this natural course to go on, we've just vaccinated against chickenpox and now, as a population, we are becoming weaker at fending it off. Dr. Tenpenny cites a CDC publication (the July 12, 1996, MMWR) that says the incidence of developing shingles within 10 years after vaccination is occurring at a rate of about 1 in 5,000. And so, instead of adults getting natural "immune boosters" from their kids being left alone to get this normal childhood disease, kids are getting shingles from the vaccine (!), and adults are getting shingles from their kids.

Thus, the advent of a shingles booster for adults, and more cash for the pharmaceutical industry yet again.

According to the journal Vaccine, there is a real threat of a shingles epidemic due to mass vaccination against chickenpox (as cited by Dr. Tenpenny).

I'm just a layman, but to me this seems illogical. It seems healthier for our population just to get the chickenpox and let natural immunity occur, rather than going around inventing ways to circumvent nature. I know I didn't mind the little itchy bumps, and as my husband said, remembering his long excuse for days full of video-gaming, "Those were the best two weeks of my school career!"

1 comment:

4ChildrensSake said...

I never even thought about it. My son at 3 years old (after getting the chicken pox vaccination) got the Shingles. He was observed by 4 different doctors because he was so young, and they were in disbelief. Now, he has scars on his face, chest, and neck. He constantly screams he is in pain, and now, most recently, we found out he has hearing loss, which happens to be on the same side his face and chest that he had the Shingles. We were told this could last a long time. My son is now 5 years old.