Bevin also said that he did not believe parents should be forced to vaccinate their children against chickenpox. Kentucky has a mandatory vaccination law for children entering public schools. The chickenpox vaccination is one of those required.
“And I think, why are we forcing kids to get it?" Bevin said of the chickenpox vaccine. "If you are worried about your child getting chickenpox or whatever else, vaccinate your child. ... But for some people, and for some parents, for some reason they choose otherwise. This is America. The federal government should not be forcing this upon people. They just shouldn’t."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges against deliberately exposing children to the varicella-zoster virus – the chickenpox virus.
"Chickenpox can be serious and can lead to severe complications and death, even in healthy children," according to the CDC website.
Chickenpox, an infectious disease characterized by skin blisters and fever. It can be fatal in rare instances for those with certain complications, or for those who may otherwise be compromised.
The CDC recommends two doses of the chickenpox vaccine. The vaccine, the CDC website says, is more than 90 percent effective at preventing chickenpox.
“When you get vaccinated, you protect yourself and others in your family and community,” the website pointed out. “This protection is especially important for people who cannot get vaccinated, such as those with weakened immune systems, or pregnant women.”
Complications can include pneumonia, encephalitis – an inflammation of the brain – or bacterial infections, according to the CDC. Those complications are generally seen in infants, pregnant women or those with weakened immune systems, according to the website.
A chickenpox vaccine became available in 1995.