Chickenpox is making the rounds at my son's nursery school. Despite his pedagog's continuing skepticism, his vaccine seems to be holding up just fine, with him not having caught it from one of his several very contagious classmates. Seeing the itchy, scab, covered children brings back memories of my own painful bout with this rite of childhood and how much, if possible, I'd like both kids to avoid it. My son is due a booster somewhere between ages 4 and 6 and my daughter should get her first shot around now. The problem is that it doesn't seem to be available here in Denmark. Talking through it with my husband, I get it. There's not infinite money for healthcare and chickenpox aren't deadly if you catch them young. Moreover, if you made an optional vaccine available and people paid to get it, well then you could run into the problem of a partially vaccinated population, where the disease becomes more rare and suddenly the chances go up quite a bit that a child might not contract chickenpox. Since it seems unlikely that it will be globally eradicated and chickenpox is a life threatening disease if you contract it when you're older, this means essentially you'd have to start vaccinating people, because there'd be no other way to make sure they were protected for life, so it's in the country's best interest to make sure everyone keeps getting sick together. On the other hand, it seems unfair to put my daughter through the experience if my son won't have it and I have the ability to stop it, most likely that we'll make a trip to the 'states and get them inoculated. I'd worry I was being selfish, but there are few American expats here, so I hardly think I'm tipping the scales and I don't believe that pain builds character.