View Full Version : Anyone Else Annoyed by Chicken Pox Vaccine Ad?
08-03-2001, 09:52 AM
I believe the ad is for Merck's (sp?) chicken pox vaccine.
The scene: A child's bedroom. The child is missing. The child's toys all have sad, mournful faces, as the announcer tells us about the possible DEADLY COMPLICATIONS of chicken pox (the clear implication being that if you don't rush right out and demand that the pediatrician give your child the vaccine, you are placing your child IN MORTAL DANGER!!!!).
Cripes, how cynical and manipulative can an ad campaign be?
08-03-2001, 09:57 AM
Companies who do this have no soul.
08-03-2001, 10:00 AM
That sounds pretty tacky, though I've never seen the commercial.
I'm kind of torn on the issue because I had a co-worker whose pre-teen son died from chicken pox, but that is extremely rare, I think only 100 people a year die from it in the US. They really should market it to adults- that is when it is more dangerous, but then again, I guess most people catch it when they are young.
I caught it when I was 19- I thought I was going to die. It was the worst illness I ever had, and it weas right before finals week!
08-03-2001, 10:01 AM
Personally, I am annoyed that a Chicken Pox vaccine exists at all. What are the deadly complications of Chicken Pox? Granted it probably sucks for an adult to get them, but how many children die from Chicken Pox annually?
08-03-2001, 10:08 AM
Oh, how I hate that vile, revolting commercial. Do you recall the earlier version which cited statistics?
<note: these numbers are made up cause I can't recall exactly what they said>
Every year, 2 million children contract Chicken Pox (gasp)
40,000 experience complications such as pneumonia
2,000 require a hospital stay
10 CHILDREN DIE!!!!!!
Meanwhile I'm thinking, "damn those are pretty good odds. I bet more kids die from drowning. Is there a vaccine for water?"
08-03-2001, 11:13 AM
I've heard claims that chicken pox can make you more susceptible to flesh-eating disease, among other things. How's that for grabbing someone's attention?
I looked into it (being very suspicious as chicken pox is caused by a VIRUS and necrotising fasciitis by a BACTERIUM, as well as the connection never having been mentioned in any of my Microbiology courses). They're not really sure, and the numbers aren't very impressive, but there's one theory that scratching the (what do you call them?) chicken pox marks causes breaks in the skin, making you more susceptible to skin infections. Now of all skin infections, NF is one o of the rarest, so I think this is all a bunch of bull.
The main motivation being the vaccine is economic. They don't want parents taking time off of work to care for sick children. Money, money, money.
08-03-2001, 11:22 AM
Well, I'm all for it, chicken pox turned me into a newt.
I got better....
08-03-2001, 11:25 AM
I am an adult who had chicken pox in January. I have had pneumonia and I can say without a doubt that it was the worst experience I had in my life. I was in bed with a 104 degree fever for five days, I was horribly uncomfortable and I ended up sleeping for 19 hours a day. If that was the extent of my problems I could handle that. But I also ended up with a skin infection, and had to go on antibiotics. It took me three months to get my energy level to the point where it was close to what it was before I was sick, and I have some minor damage to my vision, all thanks to chicken pox. I also know that one out of two thousand adults die from chicken pox.
I caught it from my niece and nephew, it wasn't quite as bad for them as for me, the disease isn't as severe in children. Part of the reason I support everybody getting the virus is that there are those of us who manage to senak through childhood without getting it, and I know it is something I wouldn't wish on anybody. I know it's better to get the shot then to not get it. Now the ad may have gone overboard, but it wouldn't be quite as effective if they said and prevent problems if they get it as an adult.
Just remember chicken pox IS a serious disease and it does have very, very serious complications if you get it as an adult.
08-03-2001, 11:33 AM
Why when I was six, we didn't have these so-called fancy chicken pox vaccines. We had to tough it out ourselves! We would be a-scritchin and a-scratchin until the cows came home. If anything, it made us stronger!
Puh. Kids today.
Disclaimer: I'm talking about kids' chicken pox. Not adults. I know adult chicken pox can be very deadly.
08-03-2001, 11:36 AM
I agree with what Odieman said about it being dangerous and all, but what gets me was the first version of the creepy ad, did not have the little Merck trademark at the end, therefore it looked like a public service announcement. Then, weeks later, it comes to light that this scare tactic (it is aimed towards parents, but the big danger is towards adults and young adults) was really just and ad for the bloated pharmaceutical industry.
08-03-2001, 11:44 AM
While I feel that the vaccine is a good idea, I hate ads that play on people's worst fears.
08-03-2001, 11:48 AM
Odieman, the ad is NOT pitched to young adults and adults AT ALL. I think it specifically mentions and definately graphically implies young children. (teddy bears, cradles, etc.) Using the most utterly vile scare tactics to sell their stupid serum. If the ad was pitched at older people and didn't play to the very worst fears of parents, an ad for the vaccine would be fine.
08-03-2001, 12:40 PM
It made me feel so sad the first time I watched it. It's one of those things that is just so...depressing. Sort of like that scene with all the dogs crying at the pound in Lady in the Tramp, not a fun ad to watch. But the commercial doesn't really affect me now anymore, I guess because of what you guys have been saying. I mean, it is just a commercial. It went over the top, but the fact that it got all of us to comment on it shows that it was a pretty effective.
08-03-2001, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by Zoggie
Sort of like that scene with all the dogs crying at the pound in Lady in the Tramp
Is that the X-rated version? :}
08-03-2001, 02:24 PM
Hehe. Very funny. ;) No, that scene just touched a vein with me, I dunno why.
08-03-2001, 02:32 PM
One potential problem about the chicken pox vaccine that bothers me a great deal, and that you hear almost nothing about, is that the immunity it gives may not last a lifetime.
You see, if you get the actual infection then you are protected from getting chicken pox ever again (although you are now at risk for shingles, but that's a different story...) If you get the vaccine the immunity may only last 10 years or so, which is not unusual for vaccines. That's why you're supposed to get a tetenaus booster at least every ten years - after that, the immunity starts to seriously wear off.
So... child gets vaccine at, say, 1 year old. Gets booster at 10 or 11. Due for next booster at 20 or 21... but hey, the kid's in college, busy as all hell, mom and dad aren't around to remind them... the immunity wears off. Then the college kid is exposed to chicken pox and gets it as a young adult, when it's far more dangerous than in childhood. Worse yet, maybe the kid doesn't catch it until he/she is 30 or 40 or older and catches it off a kid or grandkid.
In other words, chicken pox may become far more rare - but also become far more serious.
08-03-2001, 02:42 PM
Lady and The Tramp...
08-03-2001, 02:52 PM
I know, I'm a sicko. And now I can't stop laughing at myself.
08-03-2001, 02:54 PM
Just so you don't think I'm a complete airhead, I suffered through chickenpox too. I was about three when I got it. I remember itching. (Okay not THAT much.) And I played "Trouble" a lot with my parents. Chicken pox may not be fun, but now that measles are out, this is the only thing we have left to prove ourselves.
08-03-2001, 07:52 PM
The reason they're pushing to have kids vaccinated as well as adults is because rarely the virus will set up a chronic infection in a child which doesn't reappear until adulthood. When it reappears, it causes shingles.
I have no particular opinion about the ad, since I don't remember seeing it, I'm just doing my part in the whole "fighting ignorance" thing.
08-03-2001, 08:59 PM
We were just discussing this in GD a while ago--or was it GQ? I'll just sit back and wait for that histrionic nurse to come in here and give anecdotes of death by chicken pox and tell me how I'm a child abuser for daring to question the motives behind the vaccine's development.
When she comes in and posts, I'm in on this discussion, with relish.
But yes, I loathe that add. Statistics out of context, designed to scare. The one I keep seeing is the frowning little rubber ducky, oh so sad about another kid biting the dust.
08-03-2001, 10:12 PM
I'm all for the varicella vaccine. And I don't mind the scare tactics they use in the commercial, because it might get some parents to consider vaccinating their kids. I know a lot of parents who purposely expose their kids to other children with chicken pox, so they "won't get it when they're older." They claim that they would rather not let their kids be a "guinea pig" for a new, unecessary vaccine.
This is irrational, however, since the dangers of contracting chicken pox are well documented (although I don't think many parents are aware of these complications, hence the commercial). As far as I know, there is no scientific evidence that the immunity gained from the vaccine wears off more quickly than from actually suffering with the disease. Even so, I'd much rather get shots every few years than have to deal with permanent pock-marks for the rest of my life, and the possibility of getting shingles someday.
08-03-2001, 11:24 PM
The varicella-zoster vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine, meaning that it contains all the same parts as the normal virus, but can't muster up enough strength to cause any great damage, but does elicit a protective immune response. Like the normal virus, the vaccine may establish latency in a patient's nerve cells, and like the normal virus, it may be reactivated later on and cause shingles.
Studies show that the incidence and severity of shingles among vaccinated people is less than among those infected "naturally." I don't know how long these studies have been going on or how big a cohort they had, but these would have to be very long-term studies seeing as how shingles only appears much later after initial infection/vaccination.
Since the vaccine only protects against infection, and since shingles is caused not by re-INFECTION but by re-ACTIVATION, getting the vaccine after having had chicken pox would not prevent shingles.
I just wanted to point this out, not to influence anyone either way, just the facts.
I came across a good point though earlier...
Seeing though as how the main motivation for vaccination is the prevention of getting chicken pox as an adult (which is quite serious), why not wait it out until the child is a teen, and if they haven't gotten chicken pox by then, then vaccinate them??
08-03-2001, 11:43 PM
When I was a kid my parents would practically rub my brother and me against other kids with the pox. I got it when I was really young, but the boy took forever. They were talking about vaccinating him, but then he finally got a really mild case. I think that's the way to go, if you don't catch it as a kid, get the shot. It's more dangerous when you're all grown up, anyway.
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