Letter to the editor: Opposing vaccinations

Dear Editor, I am writing in response to the Staff Editorial “Preventing Flu at UVM.” I find its presentation one-sided and lacking sufficient research. First, getting the vaccine is not imperative. No one is going to make you get it and no one should feel like not receiving it is an act of betrayal toward the community. Many of the non-vaccine-related suggestions for staying healthy and stopping the spread of influenza are time-tested and extremely effective. Thank you for those, they should be adhered to. Most importantly, I would like to address the issue of the “faulty science” and “flimsy evidence” that connects vaccinations to “brain disorders” and autism. I invite you to share your references for such confident assertions. Personally, I have a 19-year-old brother who developed autism at the age of 18 months after receiving dual vaccinations, both containing the mercury-based preservative Thimerosal. Now, just to make sure that isn’t categorized as “flimsy evidence,” I would like to add that the U.S. Vaccine Court awards financial compensation to two out of every five autism cases brought before it, and federal records indicate that since 1988, 1,322 cases have been ruled in favor of families with children on the autism spectrum as a direct result of vaccinations. The pharmaceutical industry controls any publications regarding their products, seriously limiting the amount of scientific research published about their long-term effects. Seeing as they’re having so much trouble getting these H1N1-specific vaccinations on the market fast enough, how much time do you really think they’ve had to look into those long-term effects? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get the vaccine. For many people, it makes sense. I’m just asking everyone to truly educate themselves before making a decision, and I’m asking our student-run newspaper to cease and desist from using fear tactics in the arena of medical advice. Be well. Sincerely, Kate Bolton Class of 2011