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Kentucky governor says he has all of his children to chickenpox rather than have them vaccinated



Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said that his nine children were exposed to chickenpox and caught the disease instead of giving them a vaccine.

"They had it as children. They were miserable for a few days, and they all turned out fine, "Bevin said in an interview with WKCT, a Bowling Green radio station.

Bevin and his wife, Glenna, have nine children between the ages of 5 and 16, according to his campaign website.

The governor says he supports parents who choose to get their children vaccinated and also those who decline to do so. But the decision should not be up to the government.

"This is America," he said. "The federal government should not be forcing this upon people. They just shouldn't."

CNN has reached out to Bevin for comment.

Chickenpox

is a very contagious disease that causes a blister -like rash, itching, tiredness and fever, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can spread by touching or breathing in virus particles. It can be serious for babies, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.

Bevin's remarks come in Kentucky several days after a teen

sued his local health department,

who had temporarily barred students who were There have been 32 cases of chickenpox reported.

The teen and his father allege that he is discriminated against because of religious beliefs. Some Catholics worry about vaccines derived from cell lines associated with abortion.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department argued "was an appropriate and necessary response to prevent further spread of this contagious illness." The vaccine was introduced in the United States in 1

995, but the CDC said, more than 3.5 million cases were prevented by the chickenpox vaccination.

Initially, only one dose of the vaccine was recommended for children. But when experts realized that a small percentage of children didn't mount a robust immunity after the first dose was changed. Two doses are currently recommended: one at 1 year of age and a second around 4. The two-dose vaccination program has resulted in a smaller number of outbreaks, according to the CDC.

The-CNN-Wire

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