Linda Carlton: Thoroughly investigate before any vaccination is considered
I am responding to the “Vaccines work” commentary published on March 20, in the Our View column in the Steamboat Pilot & Today newspaper. I am not an “anti-vaxxer” — a person who is opposed to vaccinations, typically a parent who does not wish to vaccinate their child — but some may jump to that conclusion by the end of reading this letter.
Vaccines can work, but the same outcome is not guaranteed for everyone. Just as one “superfood” may be that for an individual, the same “superfood” might be another’s kryptonite.
The National Childhood Vaccine and Injury Act created by Congress in 1986, which has paid out more than $4 billion in compensation for vaccine injuries and deaths in children and adults, should give parents and those considering vaccinations, an incentive to question the statement made in the above mentioned commentary, “to encourage families to choose the common good over personal choice.”
How many of us would knowingly sacrifice the health of our loved ones for the so-called common good? We passionately debate where to place dog parks, trails and new schools in our community. What about individuals with compromised immune systems, complex chronic disease issues and poor health? Do they not deserve the right to consider if vaccinating is in their best overall long term health interest?
According to the CDC, over 94 percent of kindergarten children nationwide have received two doses of measles-containing MMR vaccine and only about 2 percent of children attend school with vaccine exemptions. Perhaps those 2 percent have valid and strong reasons for choosing exemptions that are not based on philosophies or personal beliefs.
The “herd immunity” threshold — educate yourself — for vaccine-acquired artificial immunity is thought to be between 80 and 95 percent, depending on the disease in question. For measles, it is between 90 and 95 percent. (Oxford Vaccine Group, April 2016). Yet, the high vaccination rate in the U.S. isn’t enough to thwart outbreaks, and evidence suggests they would probably continue to occur even if vaccine coverage was at 100 percent.
Everyone should thoroughly investigate before any vaccination is to be considered. There are many sites with good information that can help you make the best decision for each member of your family and help protect “the most vulnerable in society — our children.”
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