Letters for August 27, 2015

Vaccine real talk

Re “Immune to the truth” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Feature Story, August 20):

While I was an ICU nurse working in Oakland I had the misfortune of watching a 14-year-old boy, while on immunosuppressive therapy for kidney disease, die of chicken pox given to him by his unvaccinated cousin who had contracted chicken pox but was not yet symptomatic. I would like to see the anti-vaxxers explain to this kid's mom how this was a reasonable outcome.

Dana Starr


Big Pharma and vaccines

Re “Immune to the truth” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Feature Story, August 20):

I am the mother of two children, 4 and 6, fully vaccinated on my preferred schedule. I spent almost a year after their 18-month shots terrified of autism, yet I believe in and understand the scientific basis of herd immunity. What troubles me about the vaccination debate is that no one is talking about the precedent that mandating vaccinations creates. While I am OK with and trust the capacity of standard vaccinations to protect my child, and society at large, from diseases once prevalent, like polio and measles, I am not OK with the potential for vaccination mandates to be expanded to include whatever new shot pharmaceutical companies invent and decide is crucial. I oppose Senate Bill 277 not because I disagree with what this bill hopes to achieve now, but because of what it will be used to justify later.

Alexandria Keeble-Toll

Nevada City

Yellow journalism

Re “Immune to the truth” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Feature Story, August 20):

Wow, where to begin with this one. Yellow journalism is alive and well in Sacramento. If one wanted to make a fair and truthful argument in favor of vaccination that doesn’t insult the reader’s intelligence, it would have to include some facts. Is there a risk to vaccination? Yes. Parents who choose not to vaccinate (this is what I call them, not the pejorative “anti-vaxxer”) have also weighed the benefits and risks, and decided that the risks outweigh the benefits. To call these people irrational is demeaning and simply not true.

Evan Schulz

Grass Valley

SN&R hypocrisy?

Re “Immune to the truth” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Feature Story, August 20):

When the topic is abortion or using illicit drugs, SN&R will scream from the rooftops that, “It’s my body and it’s my choice!” But you’re going to force people to take vaccinations that other countries like Japan have banned as a threat to public health. You first.

Peter Finn