Readers React

What Chris Christie and Rand Paul should have said about vaccines

To the editor: If a Jehovah's Witness wants to deny his underage child a life-saving blood transfusion, we don't allow a religious exemption — child medical advocates can obtain a court order to overrule parental rights. ("Rand Paul links vaccines to 'mental disorders'; Christie argues for 'choice,'" Feb. 2)

If a Christian Scientist wants to deny her underage child life-saving chemotherapy, we don't allow a religious exemption.

If someone from a primitive tribe wants to offer his child as a human sacrifice to ensure a bounteous harvest, we don't allow a religious exemption.

There is no reason we should allow a religious or "personal belief" exemption that puts not only the parents' own children at risk, but others' as well.

Douglas Dunn, Escondido, Calif.

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To the editor: Some presidents make informed decisions, some don't, but the buck always stops in the Oval Office. By equivocating on the value of vaccinations and pandering to part of their base, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie show themselves not to be of presidential timber.

Science and experience prove that inoculating our kids against childhood diseases is wise and protects public health. President Obama is loud and clear on this.

These two politicians are just politicians.

Hal Rothberg, Calabasas

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To the editor: Christie has called for parental choice in vaccinating. Paul has said shots cause "mental disorders" and should be voluntary. They are playing to their fanatical base while presumptively running for commander in chief.

I served our country in war, caring for wounded Marines and others. All military personnel are administered a vast range of inoculations, and there is no opting out. Contagious diseases would spread rapidly among soldiers living in close quarters. Imagine an invading force contracting a contagious disease.

A president must rely on science and some degree of common sense.

Delton Lee Johnson, Santa Paula

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