To The Editor:

Recently blue signs have been placed in the area indicating that a “yes” vote on referendum 1 is a vote against big pharma. The question is about vaccinating children, not a referendum on the pharmaceutical industry.

There are a large number of children and adults who cannot receive preventative vaccinations because of various health issues. If they come in contact with someone who has the measles or other preventable diseases, their health and possibly their lives are put in jeopardy.

Decades ago we were able to eliminate smallpox from the world because of mandatory vaccination. What would have happened if people could have chosen whether or not to be vaccinated? How many more deaths would there have been if the disease was not eradicated?

Measles and polio were virtually eliminated in the United States. We have recently seen a significant increase in both because many people have chosen not to vaccinate their children. There are children who now have to live their lives with the resulting complications.

There are a very small number of people who will have relatively minor side effects to any vaccination. A very few may have more complicated problems. But all the evidence and medical literature show there are significantly more and serious complications that occur in non-vaccinated people.

Some medical practices have made the decision to not accept non-vaccinated patients in order to protect the vast majority of their patients.

The people who have health issues that prevent them from receiving vaccinations don’t have a choice. Those who choose not to be vaccinated should not be allowed to put others in jeopardy. If a parent makes the conscious choice not to vaccinate their child, they should choose to provide their child with home education.

Please vote NO on 1.

Stan Tetenman,

Poland

Editor’s Note: 

Question 1 seeks to repeal Legislative Document 798 (LD 798), which eliminates religious and philosophical exemptions from vaccination requirements for students to attend schools and colleges and for employees of healthcare facilities. Under LD 798, the elimination of religious and philosophical exemptions go into effect on September 1, 2021.

LD 798 would allow students with individualized education plans (IEPs) and who had a religious or philosophical exemption before September 1, 2021, to continue receiving the exemption while in school with a valid statement from a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. The statement would need to state that the medical professional consulted with a parent or guardian (when the student is less than 18-years-old) or the student (when the student is at least 18-years-old) about “the risks and benefits associated with the choice to immunize.” (Ballotpedia)

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