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Source: iStock

Pediatricians Warn That "Chicken Pox Parties" Could Turn Deadly

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Last week, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin made headlines when he said that he exposed his nine children, all of whom are unvaccinated, to neighbours with chicken pox in order to help them gain immunity to the disease. 

These so-called "chicken pox parties" were far more common before the chicken pox vaccine became widely available in 1995. In recent years, however, the gatherings, where healthy children are exposed to a child with the incredibly infectious disease, have made a comeback

Controversy around vaccinations began in 1998 after a British paper alleged that the MMR vaccine was linked to autism. The study has since been withdrawn, though many vaccine deniers still quote the findings. Andrew Wakefield, who published the paper, was allegedly compensated by a law firm intending to sue manufacturers of the MMR vaccine. He lost his medical license in 2010.

A recent study of 657,461 children born in Denmark found no link between the vaccine and autism.