Donna Dodge, in her letter (May 2) opposing mandatory vaccination, was inaccurate when she said that the Supreme Court ruled that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe.” The case in question was Bruesewitz v Wyeth in 2010, and the issue in question was a complex one regarding consumers’ ability to sue the manufacturer of a vaccine for a perceived complication.

The term “unavoidably unsafe” is nowhere to be found in the decision. That can be verified by reading the easily found published document pertaining to the decision. The legal issues are complex, of course, but the basic concept revolves about legal liabililties, not medical recommendations.

I must also question Dodge’s comment that she is “comfortable with … a decision” (not to vaccinate herself and her kids). I am sure there are many in the community who feel similarly. But this strikes me as a remarkably selfish attitude. It ignores the concept of “herd immunity” and therefore places other kids at risk of getting a disease which is generally preventable.

The issue of public safety versus individual freedom is at play here. So consider: You may think it’s safe to light up your flame thrower in a movie theater, but a law against doing so is entirely appropriate.

It is clear that all medications, and medical treatments, for that matter, carry risk. Vaccination is no exception to that rule. But the notion of risk versus benefit clearly favors vaccination over “taking your chances” with measles and other such diseases.

Gregory D’Augustine, Greene