Photo Credit: tlc.discovery.com
Sounds like the Duggars had their their own private chickenpox party. In an episode of 19 Kids & Counting that aired on TLC August 24, 12 of the 19 Duggars suffer through chickenpox -- and the itchy, raw bumps that accompany it. This, of course, begs the question: Are vaccinations verboten in this household? We have no way of knowing, but it sounds like they might be.
“About the time that Josie was supposed to be released from the hospital (on June 3), Johannah came down with chickenpox and we knew that meant the others who hadn’t had them yet would get them, too,” Michelle Duggar says on camera. Little Josie -- the 19th Duggar kid -- had to head to a rental house with her mom for three weeks, until her siblings recovered from the virus.
Skipping vaccinations is not okay, says Ari L. Brown, M.D., a pediatrician in Austin, Texas, and author of Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Baby’s First Year and Toddler 411. “Most of us remember suffering through chickenpox as a rite of passage in childhood,” she says. “But chickenpox is not always so benign. Before the vaccine became part of the immunization series in 1995, at least 100 people died every year from the virus.” Bear in mind that chickenpox is super-contagious -- it's usually transmitted via coughs and sneezes -- which is why it spread like wildfire in the Duggar house.
"If they're choosing not to vaccinate, the Duggars are choosing to put their children at risk," says Dr. Brown, who notes that some parents have the misconception that the vaccinations themselves can be a health risk. Because we haven't lived in a world without vaccines, we haven't witnessed the contagious diseases that ran rampant before they existed. "This is the real irony of vaccine success,” Dr. Brown says. “Parents are unfamiliar with vaccine-preventable infections because vaccines have done their job, but the diseases are very real and sometimes make a resurgence, especially in communities where children are not vaccinated.” Dr. Brown’s message: Opt-in when it comes to shots. “Vaccines are made to protect our kids from diseases we don't want them to have,” she says.
Would you ever consider not vaccinating your kids? Chime in below!