PLYMOUTH, Minn. — “Chickenpox parties” recently made headlines after Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin said he intentionally exposed his children to the highly contagious virus, instead of getting them vaccinated. 

These old and often controversial parties are regaining popularity among anti-vaccine parents.

Dr. Frank Rhame, an infectious disease specialist with Allina Health, says it is important for kids to be exposed to the virus to develop an immunity to it, because it can be more severe later in life.

“As more studies come out that prove the safety of vaccines, in addition to debunking and limiting the false information that’s out there, I hope we soon see an end to the debate," says Dr. Rhame. 

So, are "pox parties" a good idea? Dr. Rhame looks at both the benefits and risks. For more information about chickenpox, click here.