Letters to the Editor: How unvaccinated teens put vulnerable seniors at risk

A man receives a flu vaccine shot in Spring Valley, Calif., in 2019.
(John Gibbins / San Diego Union-Tribune)

To the editor: In support of the founder of VaxTeen, a group targeting the teenage children of anti-vaccination parents, I write not as a fellow teenager, but as a 73-year-old whose husband was diagnosed with whooping cough nine years ago. (“Why all 50 states need to allow teens to get vaccinated without parental consent,” Nov. 16)

At the time he was teaching at UCLA, so we assumed his exposure happened on campus, presumably from an unvaccinated student. Whooping cough in a man of that age is more dangerous than the same illness is for a young person, just as we are seeing with COVID-19.

I understand that not every teen would choose to be vaccinated according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations even if empowered to do so by law. But when they choose against vaccinations, they still bear responsibility for more people than just themselves.


VaxTeen founder Kelly Danielpour’s work serves all of us, especially teens whose parents have tumbled into the anti-vaxxer rabbit hole. May every state follow Danielpour’s leadership and give teens the right to be vaccinated without their parents’ permission.

Nancy Breuer, West Hills