Parents that don’t want to give their children a chicken pox vaccine and want their kids to get the virus “naturally” by being in contact with a contaminated item, have turned to social media sites like Facebook. These social media sites are calling it “pox parties.” This chicken pox party is where parents have an arranged play date with infected children in hopes their children will be exposed to the virus. Parents say they would rather their children be infected by chickenpox and develop a natural immunity than have them vaccinated and run into the side effects.
Some sites are advertising infected lollipops saying “I have PayPal and plenty of spit and suckers. It works too because that’s how we got it! Our round was FedEx’d from Arizona. We’ve spread cooties to Cookeville, Knoxville and Louisiana!” Parents are also turning to message boards and request shipments of chickenpox infected items like towels, toys, clothing or anything else the virus infected child touched.
The New York Times reported that Facebook groups go by names like “Chicken Pox Party Line” and “Find a Pox Party.” As one group notes on its Facebook page, “Consider this your ‘registry’ so that if any other members have an infected kid, you’ll be notified and have the option of setting up a pox playdate.”
Dr. Rafael Harpaz, a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “I think it’s an incredibly bad idea, whether you’re getting it from a lollipop or somewhere else. Chickenpox can cause severe disease and death. Before the vaccine was available, we were approaching 100 children who died every year in the United States. You’re basically playing a game of Russian roulette.”
Authorities have cracked down on these “pox parties” and the people selling chickenpox lollipops or any items laced with the virus are being charged by the federal government. It’s a federal crime to send diseases, viruses or a contagion through the United States Postal Service, or any other mail service for that matter.
In all 50 U.S. States it’s required to have proof that your child has had the chicken pox vaccine or proof that they have had the chickenpox virus. With one exception, parents that don’t want to give their children the vaccine due to religious beliefs.
- Chickenpox Lollipops? Vaccination Fears Lead to Pox Parties (inquisitr.com)
- How many licks does it take to get chicken pox? Parents trade vaccines for lollipops (theglobeandmail.com)
- Well Blog: ‘Pox Parties’ in the Age of Facebook (well.blogs.nytimes.com)