As a dentist and past president of the Maine Dental Association, I am concerned about our community health and will be voting “no” on Question 1 on March 3.

I am alarmed at the reports of outbreaks of disease, including whooping cough, mumps and measles, that have become commonplace in the media. These outbreaks put infants, children, vulnerable adults and the elderly at risk. Outbreaks are expensive, dangerous — and entirely preventable with vaccines.

Vaccines are safe and effective. Unfortunately, Maine has the fourth highest rate of vaccine opt-outs in the nation at 6.1%, which puts our community immunity below safe thresholds for disease outbreak.

In my endodontics practice, I see patients with compromised immune systems, including children and older adults with complex medical conditions. In particular, these patients are at risk when immunization rates are too low.

I hope others will join me in voting “no” on Question 1 on March 3.

Michelle Mazur-Kary, Auburn

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