During my teaching years at Hebron Academy, a student, whose family declined vaccinations, came to class not knowing he was coming down with mumps. When a full-blown case developed, the school shut down for about a week (I can’t recall exactly how long).

Why? Because enough faculty members could not prove they had had mumps or had been vaccinated and were therefore vulnerable to getting mumps that they had to leave campus for a certain period of time until everyone who might have been exposed by student X had gotten over their contagious period. The disruption of the lives of these people and of the entire teaching and learning community was huge, all because of the selfish decision of one family.

The vaccination issue is not about Big Pharma; it is about accepting that belonging to a community commits you to doing what you can to keep that community functioning safely and well.

Silver Moore-Leamon, Auburn

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