Donna Dodge’s letter (May 2), stating an anti-vaccine position “based on facts … not propaganda,” would be more convincing if her most startling piece of evidence was not a clever distortion. The Supreme Court has not “ruled that they (vaccines) are ‘unavoidably unsafe’ and … quietly compensated victims more than $3 billion …”

Ronald Reagan signed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in 1986 to create a mechanism whereby people could have claims of vaccine-caused injury evaluated. That included the understanding that vaccines fall within the standard legal category of things that are “unavoidably unsafe.” That is to say, things that, by their nature, cannot be made 100-percent safe and still fulfill their intended purpose. A classic example is the kitchen knife — if dull enough not to cut a person, it won’t slice a tomato. Other domestic examples include stairs (which kill about 12,000 Americans annually), not to mention bathtubs and showers (about 110,000 accidents every year). Hundreds of people die at their work place every year and thousands are injured by electricity. Those are among just the ones who survived the commute.

In contrast, so few deaths can credibly be blamed on vaccination that normal statistical procedures can’t even be applied to studying them.

Dennis Grafflin, Auburn

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