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Parents need facts to make good choices on vaccines

To the editor: It is not well known by the public that a paper on the association of childhood vaccination with autism was fraudulently published by the British physician Andrew Wakefield in the Lancet in 1998 and was retracted in 2010. ("Doctors turning away unvaccinated children," Feb. 10)

This belated outcome was less noticed than the paper's original publication. Wakefield's fraud is difficult to understand. He lost his medical license in Britain.

Now we see that pediatricians are asserting their professional diligence and refusing to take non-urgent care of unvaccinated kids. This is simply done to protect other kids. Kudos to the pediatricians.

In the final analysis, we are facing an issue of liberty and individual rights versus protection of the public from a very severe contagious illness that could be lethal. Since it protects public health, vaccination is a social obligation.

In many places, vaccination is not left to individual choice. Liberty is best exercised when the public is educated.

Edgar Moran, MD, Long Beach

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