Thursday, April 24, 2008

Chicken Pox Vaccination

Both My Favorite and I are a little uncomfortable with the idea of immunizations. We both have all ours, and so far, Teeny Tiny has all hers. Except the Chicken Pox vaccination. I've wanted to do research on them all, but haven't. Now I am. Much to the irritation of our dear pediatrician :0)

Why? We have chosen to follow God's word very closely, that is part of being a Messianic believer. Everything, heart, soul, mind, strength is dedicated to HaShem and how He laid things out. From the first word of Genesis, to the last in Revelation. So our first concern is ingredients. What are in these vaccines? If we aren't eating Altoids because they have gelatin, why are we injecting our children with things before finding out what is in them?

Our second concern is basically the same, we are people who research things, and we are just taking other peoples policies and opinions on this matter. It just doesn't fit.

Then there is the general safety factor. We know things get approved by the FDA whether they are safe or not. That drug companies don't allow negative research to be produced about their products. This of course is something I probably can't research.

What is a parent to do?!

Questions to be answered, currently for Chickenpox vaccine:
  1. What are the ingredients?
  2. Can you get disease from vaccination?
  3. If so, can others catch it?
  4. Are there risks to getting the vaccination if there is a pregnant person in your household?


  • Not much on ingredients. But it does mention people with allergies to GELATIN should not get this vaccine. Hmm, odds of the gelatin being Kosher?!
  • Ingredient to look into: antibiotic neomycin, site says people with allergy to this should not get vaccine
  • Can you get the disease from the vaccine? Yes "About 1%... develop a mild form of the disease, consisting of a limited rash, most often with only 5-6 blisters"
  • About 2% of children will still get chickenpox, but a milder, less blistery, quicker recovery version. Meaning the vaccine is not 100% effective. Nothing is.
  • Note of interest: When mentioning the potential risks of natural disease they only offer the thought of getting an infection with a flesh eating bacteria. They do not offer the statistical percentage of children getting this.
Kids Health
  • "If a pregnant woman has had chickenpox before the pregnancy, the baby will be protected from infection for the first few months of life, since the mother's immunity gets passed on to the baby through the placenta and breast milk." - I'm immune so shouldn't be effected by someone who has chickenpox.
  • "For susceptible persons, having a pregnant household member is not a contraindication to vaccination."
  • My translation: people who do not have immunity to chickenpox and live with someone who is pregnant should get the vaccination and not worry about the pregnant person or baby. If it was a contraindication, it would mean that getting the vaccine would or might have an effect on others and shouldn't be taken.
CDC (ingredients from their site, descriptions from my research)
  • Bovine Albumin or Serum - serum taken from the fetuses of cows used in the culturing of cells
  • Ethylenediamine-Tetraacetic Acid Sodium (EDTA) - molecule used to remove heavy metals and calcium from the human body. It is one way of treating heavy metal toxicity. Why is this in the vaccine?
  • Gelatin - possibly pork, one, and only one site said there is a gelatin free version
  • Monosodium L-Glutamate - MSG!
  • MRC-5 DNA and Cellular Protein - quoting sites directly, this one seems pretty HUGE from my perspective:
"The MRC-5 cell line is commonly utilized in vaccine development... Initiated in September 1966 by J. P. Jacobs, the cell line was derived from the human lung tissue of a 14-week-old male fetus aborted from a 27-year-old woman." Quoted site
"The culture medium is human embryonic lung cells (from an aborted foetus), embryonic guinea pig cell cultures, WI 38 – a different cell line from another aborted foetus, and another aborted fetus labelled MRC-5." condensed on this site from info from VARIVAX 1995 data sheet, Merck & Co., Inc. No 7779300. She might have the lung cells listed twice as MRC-5 is a lung cell. In reading another site, I think that all three times fetal cells are mentioned they are just different strains of the same cell line. I found an FDA paper that states this same thing, but more technically.
  • Neomycin - antibiotic made from a bacteria, as all antibiotics are I think. Some individuals have reaction or allergy to this apparently.
  • Potassium Chloride - basically a salt, although it is used for a lot of different things
  • Potassium Phosphate Monobasic - the monopotassium salt, KH2PO4; used as a buffering agent in pharmaceutical preparations.
  • Sodium Phosphate Monobasic - too technical to even figure out for me.
  • Sucrose - your basic table sugar
  • The vaccine contains no preservative. From FDA
Questions answered for Chickenpox vaccine:
  1. What are the ingredients? The ones I am concerned with: Gelatin, MRC-5 cells, the use of guinea pig cells in culturing the disease cells
  2. Can you get disease from vaccination? Yes
  3. If so, can others catch it? I think the answer is yes
  4. Are there risks to getting the vaccination if there is a pregnant person in your household? As long as the pregnant person is not a susceptible person no risks (look at me using big words!), meaning as long as the person is already immune to chickenpox, they say there are no risks to pregnant mom or baby.
Conclusion? We need to sit down with our pediatrician who is also our pastor and ask him some serious questions.

HaShem, please pave our way, making his heart ready for our questions, moving asside years of training and education, giving us the right words to be honorable to You and him, giving us all discernment. In HaShem Yeshua HaMeshiach, amen.

UPDATE: Found a quote from the physician with Merck who is supervising something to do with the varicella vaccine.
"There is no gelatin-free varicella or MMR vaccine in the USA since Merck is the exclusive distributor."

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