How ironic that Garnet Olson’s anti-vaccine letter (“Measles? What’s the big deal?” Feb. 3) appeared just below the political cartoon depicting the ignorance of the current anti-vaccine movement. As a former healthcare provider, I make no apologies for my anger at this pseudoscience fad.

Perhaps Olson and other anti-vaccine advocates have forgotten that measles killed approximately 1,000 Americans per year prior to the advent of the vaccine. Perhaps they don’t know that in countries without widespread access to the vaccine, measles is responsible for four percent of all deaths of children under five years old.

And perhaps they simply choose not to believe that vaccination is not linked to autism or any other mental disability — this belief is the result of a small study that has since been revealed as fraudulent, has been retracted, and for which the author of the study lost his license to practice medicine. Yet the anti-vaccine crowd clings to it as though it were true.

Science — real, objective, peer-reviewed science — has proven beyond any doubt that vaccines save lives and they do not cause any mental impairment. They protect not only those who receive them, but also those who are too young to be vaccinated, or who have immune system deficiencies and cannot be vaccinated.

So be responsible. Be smart. Trust the real science. Vaccinate your children.

Bill Peckenpaugh


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