Teen Who Sued Over School Ban for Refusing Vaccine Gets Chickenpox

A Kentucky 18-year-old who sued the state's health department after he was banned from school for refusing to get a chickenpox vaccine came down with the chickenpox, NBC News reports. Jerome Kunkel, who refused the vaccine due to his religious beliefs, reportedly started showing chickenpox symptoms last week and hopes to be able to return to school next week with immunity. Christopher Wiest, Kunkel's family lawyer, said the family had no regrets about skipping the vaccine. Wiest also attacked the school's ban, claiming that Kunkel would have gotten sick sooner without it and would have already been back in school with chickenpox immunity. “The ban was stupid,” he said. “He could have contracted this in March and been back to school by now.” Kunkel has not attended Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Assumption Academy since March 15, after the Northern Kentucky Health Department mandated those who were not vaccinated stay out of school in reaction to an outbreak earlier this year. According to NBC, some Catholics take issue with the chickenpox vaccine because it was developed using the “cell lines of two aborted fetuses” in the 1960s.