Teen Who Sued School For Banning Him After He Refused Vaccination Now Has Chickenpox

Teen Who Sued School For Banning Him After He Refused Vaccination Now Has Chickenpox

Jerome Kunkel, a student at the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Assumption Academy, began displaying signs of the childhood malady last week.

In an ironic twist of events, a Kentucky teenager who was banned from his school for refusing a chickenpox vaccine due to his 'religious beliefs' has come down with the common childhood sickness, according to the young man's attorney. 



 

Jerome Kunkel, a student at the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Assumption Academy, began displaying signs of the childhood malady last week. The northern Kentucky teenager told NBC News that he hopes to recover by next week. 18-year-olf Kunke and his family still have no regrets about their decision not to be vaccinated. 



 

As per the family's attorney Christopher Wiest, the whole family decided against the vaccination as it interfered with their religious beliefs. "These are deeply held religious beliefs, they're sincerely held beliefs," he said. "From their perspective, they always recognized they were running the risk of getting it, and they were OK with it."



 

After a chickenpox outbreak was reported at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Assumption Academy in March, state health officials passed an order to keep unvaccinated students off-campus. Kunkel unsuccessfully challenged the ban in court.



 

Now since he came down with the childhood malady, Kunkel said that he's just looking towards his recovery and his life getting back to normal. Lawyer Christopher Wiest stood by his opinion that had the state health officials not intervened, his client would have contracted chickenpox earlier this year. "The ban was stupid. He could have contracted this in March and been back to school by now," said the lawyer. 



 

However, state officials feel that Weist is underplaying the dangers of chickenpox. "Encouraging the spread of [acute infectious diseases] in a community demonstrates a callous disregard for the health and safety of friends, family, neighbors and unsuspecting members of the general public," they said in a statement.

Many ultra-conservative Catholics are opposed to the chickenpox vaccination due to the fact that it was developed in the 1960s from the cell lines of two aborted fetuses. 

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