Student who sued because he didn't want chickenpox vaccine gets chickenpox

Student who sued because he didn't want chickenpox vaccine gets chickenpox

A United States teenager who took legal action against his school after he was banned for refusing the chickenpox vaccination now has the virus, his lawyer says.

"These are deeply held religious beliefs, they're sincerely held beliefs", Wiest told NBC News.

"Although we have been working with the school to contain the illnesses since February, the Health Department has recently seen a concerning increase in the number of infected students at the school", district director of health Lynne Saddler said at the time.

It is understood 24 other students were banned during the chickenpox outbreak.

Jerome Kunkel, a student at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy in Kentucky, is taking legal action over a policy which temporarily bars students who aren't immunised from the infectious disease from attending.

"We found a neighbour that had it, and I went and made sure every one of them got it", Bevin said in an interview in March. A Boone County judge upheld the ban against unvaccinated students.

Only 18 per cent of the school's students are fully vaccinated, a school official told the local health department.

"Their ban didn't stop these kids from going to church together", Mr Wiest said yesterday.

The health department would not confirm Wednesday that it had released the ban on Kunkel, but it did release a statement criticizing Wiest and defending the ban.

"Encouraging the spread of an acute infectious disease in a community demonstrates a callous disregard for the health and safety of friends, family, neighbors, and unsuspecting members of the general public".

Chickenpox is a highly contagious virus that causes blisters, itching and fever, though it is generally not fatal.

Control measures, such as restricted school attendance, participation in extracurricular activities, and instructing those who have symptoms to avoid contact with others, are created to prevent unvaccinated people who have been exposed to the virus from infecting members of the general public while they are infectious. It is far safer to prevent people from getting the infection in the first place, and not risk infecting people who may be especially vulnerable to infection.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent the virus is to receive the vaccine.

The Kunkel family has previously said the chickenpox vaccination is against the family's religious beliefs because cells from aborted foetuses were used to develop the immunisation. "From their perspective, they always recognized they were running the risk of getting it, and they were OK with it", Kunkel family attorney Christopher Wiest said, adding that the family has no regrets in regards to refusing the chickenpox vaccination.



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