Seeing Spots: Julian’s Chickenpox Story


If you’re like me, you probably had the chicken pox as a kid, way before the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine was introduced to the public. I vaguely remember the itchy spots and can recall lying on the couch for week watching cartoons. But, if you made it through childhood without catching the chicken pox and haven’t been vaccinated now as an adult, you may be begging for trouble. As Julian found out, getting the chickenpox in adulthood is absolutely horrific.

As a schoolteacher in Australia you may assume Julian has had just about every cold and virus out there. Children tend to be little Petri dishes, harboring all kinds of germs, but the schoolyard is not where his chickenpox story begins.

Julian was spending time with his two sons while on summer break. His oldest son had been vaccinated with the varicella vaccine on schedule, while his youngest was still not old enough for the vaccine.

That summer, Julian’s oldest son came down with a mild, short-lived case of the chickenpox. 

As with many vaccines, even if you get vaccinated it is still possible that you may come down with mild symptoms of the disease should you come in contact with it.

It had never occurred to Julian that he may be susceptible to getting the chickenpox virus, as he assumed he had caught it as a child just like everyone else. However, according to his mother, that was not the case. Julian had never caught the chickenpox, and was a sitting duck for the virus.

Read moreSeeing Spots: Julian’s Chickenpox Story

the Invisible Threat documentary

I had a chance to listen in on a conference call with some amazingly motivated vaccine advocates and some of the creative talents behind the documentary, Invisible Threat. The documentary is produced by high school student filmmakers and explores the science behind vaccinations and the fears and misconceptions people have about vaccines. The Invisible Threat is so … Read morethe Invisible Threat documentary