Readers React: Protecting kids from measles -- and scientifically inept politicians

A chart in a doctor's office shows the recommended immunization schedule for children up to age 18.
(Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

To the editor: It has been reported that Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey believes parents should have some choice about vaccinating their children and that Rep. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) believes vaccines should be voluntary. Both of these statements by presumptive would-be presidents promote fear mongering and help the anti-vaccination movement. The supposed connection between autism and the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine reported by disgraced British physician Andrew Wakefield in 1998 has been retracted and thoroughly debunked.

For 62 years I have taken care of children. I have seen kids with measles complications, including paralysis, deafness and death in the early years of my career. I don’t want to see these problems ever again. The MMR vaccine protects about 97% of those who receive it.

It is incumbent on public officials to speak based on the facts when commenting on medical policy. They should use credible and scientific sources of information. Children need to be protected from measles — and from politicians who speak as scientists.


Dr. Alvin Miller, Simi Valley


To the editor: It is difficult to believe that there is a core of people against vaccinations. Are they doctors or scientists? No. They are parents, celebrities, lawyers and others.

In the 1950s, I don’t remember chicken pox, mumps or rubella, all of which I had. But I do remember being sick in bed with measles.

In 1970 my son had the vaccination. Four or five years later, he had the measles. Either it was given to him too early, he was in the tiny minority for whom the vaccine doesn’t take, or there was a refrigeration issue with the vaccine during the time he was given the shot.

Returning to pre-vaccination times would be ridiculous and dangerous.

Susan Barrett, Los Alamitos


To the editor: You wouldn’t dare to discuss partial differential equations with a mathematician unless you held a doctorate in that particular niche of math.

Few would question medical procedures performed by a brain surgeon or propulsion technology with a rocket scientist, unless you were an expert in the respective field. Even fewer would question a Grand Master’s move on the chess board, unless you were a ranked chess player yourself.

So why would the most uneducated and science challenged among us have the audacity to deny the validity of vaccination, climate change, evolution and other issues where science is firmly established?

And I’m not only talking about Republican members of Congress and GOP presidential hopefuls.

Jorg Aadahl, San Mateo


To the editor: When will The Times and the public at large wake up to the fact that we are on the long road to tyranny?

When doing things for our own good is no longer voluntary but mandated by the state, can you say you are truly free? Think seat belt and helmet laws, plus the now a mandatory insurance law.

Next up, mandatory vaccination.

As it is now, children can be taken from their parents if they are deemed too young to play outside without supervision. Freedom once lost is rarely regained, so it is time to wake up and demand an end to the nanny state.

Scott Sampson, Norwalk

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