In the “Ask The Doctors” column of January 6, the necessity of the chickenpox vaccine for kids was questioned.

[READ: Chickenpox can be deadly for those with weakened immune systems]

[READ: More Volusia, Flagler kids getting religious exemptions to vaccinations, leaving others at risk]

The doctors’ response indicated that of those unvaccinated, “most children who develop chickenpox go on to make a full recovery,” but that 2 to 6 percent of children who become infected go on to develop some rather serious, even life-threatening complications; that pregnant women infected prior to their 20th week can result in very serious complications for their unborn babies, and that those women infected in the third trimester raise the risk of their babies having problems with the central nervous system. These realities alone justify the necessity of these vaccines.

As a retired public health educator, I was a bit surprised to find that the article failed to make any reference to that all-too-frequently occuring scourge: shingles.

Those who receive the proper dosing of the chickenpox vaccine (Varivax) or (ProQuad which is a combination measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine) would enjoy a highly reduced likelihood of contracting chickenpox, but also any subsequent outbreaks of shingles and associated complications.

Another benefit of receiving the varicella vaccine would be to kids/teens/young-adults (think caregivers) who might come in contact with someone with active lesions associated with shingles, because those unvaccinated (or previously uninfected) could actually get infected with the virus and come down with chickenpox.

Check with your doctors and vaccinate our children so instead of “pox vobis,” it will be more like pax vobis: Peace to you!

Steve Bender, Orange City

Americans at risk 

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the number of apprehensions at the southwest U.S. border per year has not significantly changed in the last five years. The average is about 500,000 per year. In 2017 and 2018, Republicans had a majority in both the House and the Senate. They did not provide President Trump with funding for his wall. Yet Trump did not shut down the U.S. government while his Republican colleagues controlled Congress. The fiscal year 2018 appropriations included a total of $1.3 billion for new and replacement border fencing and barriers. Not all of this money has been spent. The Democrats in the House and the Senate in a unanimous voice vote taken before Christmas offered Trump another $1.3 billion just for fencing and barriers. Instead,Trump has threatened to veto such funding legislation and Senate Republicans now refuse to even consider legislation passed by the House unless it contains $5.7 billion for Trump's wall. 

During the government shutdown TSA agents, Coast Guard staff, and Border Security workers are not being paid. Every day of the shutdown puts Americans more at risk. Trump's administration has not even spent all the money which has been appropriated for border barriers. It is clear that our President manufactured this border funding "crisis." It is Mr. Trump and his Republican colleagues in the Senate who are lying and endangering America. 

Dale Harmon, Palm Coast

Stop the lies

 

Our president disgraces our country. He is using the wall issue to hold our country hostage by shutting down our government. I could not believe the TV networks let him on the air to spew his lies and exaggerations about the need for a wall on our southern border. Maybe he should check with his Russian communist buddies on how to build a wall to restrict freedom. The vast majority of drugs and terrorists come into our country through ports of entry, not across our southern border. Trump's base needs to wake up and see who he really is, a man who uses lies and fear to advance his crazy causes!

 

Bob Hewes, New Smyrna Beach