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LETTER: Science-based evidence supports vaccinations

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I was surprised to see the Herald’s story on “The vaccination debate” in the Accent on Health section rather than on the Opinion page (Page C1, Aug. 18).

The writer seemed to readily quote and highlight the opinions of two couples who have chosen not to vaccinate their children without citing any medical journals or studies from where they may have gleaned their information.

It was disappointing to see this style of journalism as a full section-front article rather than an Op-Ed piece. This high-profile display may lead some Herald readers to give it more medical credence than mere opinions should warrant.

I hesitate to seem critical of quotes in a newspaper, but to give credibility to the statement that one’s “body will know how to heal itself because that’s what it’s designed to do” may appear harsh to those who have had family members suffer, and perhaps die, from influenza, smallpox, polio, whooping cough, measles and so on.

All of these maladies have been greatly reduced or eradicated due to the success of vaccinations.

As I am a registered nurse with 29 years of experience in the acute-care setting, I am what one would consider “pro-vaccine.” What Dr. Jennifer Peterson, an Altru Health System pediatrician, explained in regards to this debate was consistent with scientific evidence, not conjecture, and was based on many clinical studies and a proven history of the success of vaccines throughout decades.

I doubt that whatever sources these two couples have chosen as their health care weather vane would fare equally well under the same scrutiny.

Deborah Todhunter

Grand Forks

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