- BOSTON (www.nando.net) -- Massachusetts has joined the District of Columbia
in requiring the chicken pox vaccine for children entering both school
and day care.
- By the 1999 school year, all Bay State
kindergartners and 7th graders will have to be vaccinated against the disease
unless they have a religious or medical exemption.
- Last year, a chicken pox outbreak in
a city day care center left several children sick. Two were hospitalized
after developing streptococcal A infections, also known as flesh-eating
- One child was disfigured by surgery removing
the infection and had to have further reconstructive surgery. Worried public
health officials stepped up their efforts to vaccinate children against
- The federal Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention reported recently that chicken pox was the underlying cause
of death in an average of 43 children a year and caused the hospitalization
of at least 10,000 children annually.
- Three other states -- Maryland, Oregon
and Oklahoma -- require children to be vaccinated against chicken pox before
entering day care and are considering a school requirement. Connecticut,
Texas, Michigan and Florida are working on enacting regulations for chicken