A chickenpox outbreak at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Assumption Academy in March prompted state health officials to order unvaccinated students to stay away from school that saw northern Kentucky teenager was banned from school for refusing the chickenpox vaccination due to his religious beliefs is now suffering from the malady.
Jerome Kunkel, a student at the academy hails from a deeply religious family which have no regrets about their decision to not be vaccinated. The religion opposes chickenpox vaccinations because it was developed in the 1960s from cell lines of two aborted fetuses.
“These are deeply held religious beliefs, they’re sincerely held beliefs. From their perspective, they always recognized they were running the risk of getting it, and they were OK with it,” the family attorney Christopher Wiest said.
The 18-year-old first started showing chickenpox symptoms last week and hopes to have recovered by next week, according to his lawyer. Now that the teenager has had the chickenpox, and is thus immune to it, he’ll be allowed to return to school soon for the first time since March 15.
While Christopher felt the ban was stupid, state health officials have lashed out at him for undermining the danger of chickenpox.
“Encouraging the spread of acute infectious disease in a community demonstrates a callous disregard for the health and safety of friends, family, neighbors and unsuspecting members of the general public,” according to a statement by Laura Brinson, a spokeswoman for the Northern Kentucky Health Department.
Some opponents of the mandatory vaccinations have given up on the fight and urged parents to get their kids vaccinated.