Cost benefit analysis of universal varicella vaccination in the U.S. taking into account the closely related herpes¨Czoster epidemiology
This cost benefit analysis brings to light an interesting piece of the puzzle. Herpes zoster (aka shingles) is a reactivation of the chicken pox virus in the dorsal root ganglion. It is believed that occasional exposure to the chicken pox virus causes your body to “refresh” its immune defense against this virus even though you don’t actually get sick. So, this process occurring over the years allows the immune system to be on constant defense against chicken pox, which would naturally ALSO suppress shingles. This process does not occur with the vaccination, so those who have received the vaccination will be at increased risk for shingles.
Figuring this into the cost/benefit equation provides the healthcare society with an additional 14.6 MILLION cases of shingles at a cost of $80 million/year. So, the drug companies make money on the vaccination which then increases likelihood of another disease for which patient need more drugs and more money for the drug companies. If this occurred in any other industry the government and/or courts would shut the racket down so quickly it would make your wallet spin.