Letters: Perils of the unvaccinated

Re "As flu passes, new threat rises," Feb. 22

The Times reports on a new outbreak of measles in California, with nearly half of those affected having opted against childhood vaccination by using the state's personal beliefs exemption.

Like the flu, measles can be a deadly disease; if it doesn't kill, it may result in lifelong disability.

Equally significant, those vaccine objectors who "go bare" and then fall victim to infection may expose many others to cross-infection.


Available vaccines, while proved safe and effective for many of those who are at risk, are admittedly not perfect. But those who go unvaccinated and then come down with infection are putting large numbers of others at risk. Perhaps they should be placed under quarantine in their own homes during the resultant public health emergency.

While folks are free to make their own choices, they do not have the right to subject others to the negative consequences of their decisions.

Richard J. Steckel, MD

Santa Barbara