Letters to the Editor

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VACCINE: Requirement for opting out is demeaning

Letter by Karen L. Larsen, Auburn on March 29, 2011 at 9:17 am | 17 Comments »
March 29, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: “It shouldn’t be too easy to opt out of vaccinations” (editorial, 3-25).

I am one of those parents who exempted my children from school-entry immunization requirements. That choice came from many hours and years of research; it was not made lightly.

I take offense that I am referred to as one of those parents who get their information from “questionable Internet sites and quacks” and that I am “too busy with other matters to bother scheduling an appointment.” That implies I am risking my children’s health by signing a “convenient” signature on a form.

Requiring me to get a note from my doctor stating that I have been “informed of the risk” is very demeaning to me as a parent and implies that I do not understand what is best for my children.

A child’s health is the responsibility of the parent, not the state. Does the state come in and support a family when their child is harmed by a vaccine? No. Children are harmed by vaccines, and the emotional and financial toll is left to the family to bear. There can be, and are, consequences with both choices. Parents who make the choice to “opt out” are aware of this.

If you would require families opting-out of vaccination get a doctor’s note stating they have been advised of the possible benefits of vaccination, then you should also require families opting-in to vaccination get a note from a holistic doctor stating they are aware of the possible risks of vaccination.

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