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Do you consider this mother to be prudent or ill advised?

Just sign me Chicken Little

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Dear Chicken Little,

Ill advised. Recent years have seen an increase in parents who refuse to subject their children to immunizations of any kind, but that’s a topic in itself. Statistics bear out that prior to the varicella vaccine (immunization for chickenpox) becoming routine, the disease resulted in about 100 deaths and 10,000 hospitalizations per year.

While most young children will be none the worse for wear following a bout with chickenpox, newborns, adults and individuals with compromised immune systems who contract the disease can become severely ill. The vaccine, on the other hand, is known to cause mild symptoms if any, and serious complications are extremely rare.

The idea behind vaccinating for chickenpox is to curb the contagion and keep it from spreading to the persons for whom the disease could prove life threatening.

Just a thought for those who argue against immunization in general, contending that Hashem is in charge and can protect us against disease and therefore immunizations are pointless and unnecessary: isn’t it He who has enabled the advancement of the sciences to offer us protection against yesteryear’s ravaging ailments?

Parents should consult with their children’s pediatrician before making life-altering decisions, and, as always, the column welcomes reader feedback.

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We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to  rachel@jewishpress.com  or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.

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We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.