Letter to the Editor

Vaccine law

Sunday, February 24, 2019

The legislators who want to change the vaccine law must be younger than I am. In the small town in Iowa where I lived I knew two girls who were confined to a wheelchair after polio. Another friend spent time in an iron lung and one arm was permanently bent at a right angle. A friendís mother used braces and crutches to walk for the rest of her life. Another lady was crippled by post-polio syndrome in later life. It took two nurses, their mom and the doctor to hold down my husband and his two brothers to get their polio vaccine but his mom made sure they received it. Because of vaccination, polio has been eliminated from the world.

A good friend was rendered impotent by the mumps. As a child I remember seeing quarantine signs on houses with measles. I would invite the anti-vaccine folks to visit the historic cemetery near Copper Harbor, MI and see all the graves of infants who died of diphtheria. My daughterís college teammate became ill one evening and died the next day of meningitis. As a result of vaccinations smallpox has been eliminated from the world.

Some children because of age or immunity problems cannot be vaccinated, so they are protected when the majority of healthy children are vaccinated (herd immunity). Serious vaccine reactions are rare and have been overblown in the press by disproved studies. Vaccination and clean water are the two most successful public health measures in history.

ó Mary Marske, Spencer