“A movement that health experts call “an incredibly bad idea.”
The New York Times reports,
The offer – for lollipops infected with chickenpox virus – appeared on Facebook last month and quickly circulated among parents who oppose vaccinating their children against diseases.
“I have PayPal and plenty of spit and suckers,” the message read. “It works too because that’s how we got it! Our round was FedEx’d from Arizona. We’ve spread cooties to Cookeville, Knoxville and Louisiana!”
Other parents on the same message board posted requests for shipments of a variety of chickenpox-infected items – towels, children’s clothes, rags. By getting their children to touch the contaminated items or suck on tainted candy, they believe their children will get the stronger immunity that surviving a full-blown natural infection of chickenpox affords, without the hazards they say come with vaccines.
The posts advertising the infected lollipops have since been taken down, and there is no evidence that anyone actually bought them. But public health experts warn the practice is misguided, and dangerous.