More on the measles

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “Out­break of measles over; furor is not,” April 18

Any scheme that al­lows reli­gion-based ex­emp­tions to state-man­dated vac­ci­na­tions of chil­dren will doom many public schools to low im­mu­nity lev­els that risk dis­ease out­breaks like the measles scare that orig­i­nated at Dis­ney­land last year.

The ex­emp­tion pre­req­ui­site that some tout — re­quir­ing par­ents to sub­mit an an­nual let­ter ex­plain­ing re­li­gious prin­ci­ples that guide their ob­jec­tions to vac­ci­na­tion — will do naught to stop some par­ents. If hun­dreds of them could stage a demon­stra­tion that moved some Sacra­mento leg­is­la­tors to up­hold re­li­gious ex­emp­tions, they can surely con­trive and share a form let­ter for par­ents to use to pass an­nual muster.

It’s time our state leg­is­la­tors ended the faith-based mad­ness. Par­ents in­tent on sub­or­di­nat­ing the science of im­mu­niza­tion to quirky re­li­gious be­liefs will find a way to ed­u­cate their chil­dren out­side public schools.

Devra Min­dell

Santa Mon­ica

Amid hys­ter­ics on all sides about the MMR vac­cine and the measles out­break at Dis­ney­land, no one is think­ing ahead to fu­ture out­breaks of the “R” part of the MMR — rubella.

Rubella is a rel­a­tively mild dis­ease when you have it as a kid. I can barely re­mem­ber it, as I con­tracted it the same spring that I had the measles, which was a bru­tal ex­pe­ri­ence, with high fever and a very itchy rash.

The prob­lem with rubella comes when you are preg­nant. Rubella in preg­nancy is dev­as­tat­ing to the fe­tus, caus­ing deaf­ness, blind­ness, heart mal­for­ma­tions, men­tal re­tar­da­tion, en­larged liver and spleen and more. Yet no one is talk­ing about what hap­pens in 15 years or so when all of th­ese un­vac­ci­nated lit­tle girls get to child­bear­ing age and the next out­break of a to­tally pre­ventable dis­ease oc­curs, only this time it’s rubella.

The re­sults could be dev­as­tat­ing, and it will all be grandma’s and grandpa’s fault.

Jane Mo­ment Jor­dan

Oak Park

The vac­ci­na­tion de­niers have man­aged to scare off Sacra­mento from putting in place rules to pre­vent an­other measles out­break. I guess it’s go­ing to be up to Dis­ney­land and all other public venues to fill the void and keep pa­trons from get­ting sick.

I think a large, neon bill­board at the en­try gates stat­ing that all pa­trons must show proof of im­mu­niza­tion for en­try to the park would suf­fice. This may sound harsh, but the state seems not to have any way to en­force im­mu­niza­tions for the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion.

I think a cou­ple of clas­s­ac­tion law­suits nam­ing Dis­ney­land and the state of Cal­i­for­nia for not pro­tect­ing the gen­eral public from th­ese dis­eases would work. If Dis­ney­land starts los­ing money and the state starts los­ing tax rev­enue, maybe things will change.

David Be­hunin

San Diego

Mel Mel­con Los An­ge­les Times

A VIAL con­tain­ing the MMR vac­cine, right; the state has de­clared that a measles out­break is over.

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