Parents Reportedly Throwing ‘Measles Parties’ To Infect Their Unvaccinated Kids

From Think Progress:

February 9, 2015

Some parents in California are reportedly considering hosting “measles parties” — social gatherings where unvaccinated children can come into contact with infected kids — to build up their children’s natural resistance to the infectious disease.

Julie Schiffman, who has chosen not to vaccinate her two children, told KQED’s California Report that she was recently approached by a friend who invited her to a measles party. The friend offered to arrange a play date with a child who currently has measles. Schiffman turned her down.

“I would want that to be something they decide on their own, when they’re older and are more capable of assessing the risks and dangers,” she said. “When they’re teenagers, I’d say, ‘okay, you have a choice, you can get vaccinated or you can get the measles, what would you rather?’”

Before the development of the chicken pox vaccine, this particular “natural infection” tactic used to be popular among parents who wanted to give their children the virus while they were still young and the infection would be less severe. Now, despite the fact that there’s a vaccine available to prevent that disease, the practice has persisted among some parents who are skeptical about following the government’s recommended immunization schedule.

The rise of social media has made it easier than ever before for parents to plan so-called “pox parties.” The Facebook group Let’s Have a Chickenpox Party, for instance, helps anti-vaccine parents connect with each other and publicize their pox-related events. In 2011, some adults even started mailing infected lollipops across state lines, something that violates federal law.

The idea has been floated for other diseases, too. When a serious strain of influenza colloquially known as “swine flu” started spreading in 2009, some people started suggesting holding swine flu parties for their kids. The idea was that surviving a milder strain of the virus earlier in the season would protect children from a deadlier strain that could emerge later.

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2 Responses to “Parents Reportedly Throwing ‘Measles Parties’ To Infect Their Unvaccinated Kids”

  1. tinagrrl Says:

    I wonder how many of these parents had all the childhood diseases. I did. being old, I came around before all these vaccines — so, I had measles, mumps, whooping cough, “German” measles, chicken pox, and all the other crap floating around. I was actually lucky not to have polio or diphtheria.

    By the way, I ended up missing almost an entire school year, and developed the reputation of being “sickly” and “delicate”.

    Measles can KILL. So can the other “childhood” diseases. They can also have severe aftereffects, some of which can be fatal many years later.

    I was told by both a doctor (MD) and a dentist that my “Swiss cheese” like teeth was caused by my having a severe case of those very same measles when my permanent teeth were forming. It seems the virus has some effect on calcium uptake, or whatever it’s called.

    These folks all had their shots, never spent untold weeks of high fevers, alcohol rubs, pain, etc. Now, they abdicate their role as parents because some nutjob wants to claim the shots are worse than the diseases. I really don’t think so.

    What fools they are. Why subject their children to potentially fatal diseases because some celebrity thinks it’s bad to immunize.

    For once, protect your children.

    • Suzan Says:

      It seems as neither the left nor the right have an immunity to gross willful ignorance, stupidity or faith in superstition.

      It may come as a surprise to many but many states thought of as bastions of right wing stupidity have far higher percentages of their kids vaccinated than bastions of progressive enlightenment such as California.

      The followers of Dr Oz are among the worst. Further progressive sites love pointing out Jenny McCarthy while ignoring how Robert f. Kennedy Jr pushed the same crapola on his Air America show.

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