Letter to the Editor for June 20, 2014

By Jayson Jacoby, The Baker City Herald

Writer didn't mention effectiveness of vaccines

In a recent guest opinion published in another local paper, Baker County resident L.E. Castillo criticizes a new Oregon Health Authority vaccination requirement that parents who opt out of having their children vaccinated watch a "vaccine education module." Castillo bolsters his objection by citing several studies showing that some children suffer adverse effects from vaccines.

Based on these studies Castillo advises parents "not to vaccinate your children until you've done some homework." As an alternative to vaccination, Castillo recommends "homeopathic vaccine alternatives."

Castillo makes no attempt to present the overwhelming evidence that vaccination prevents deadly epidemics that used to plague the world.

Parents magazine has this to say about vaccination: "The odds of experiencing a vaccine-related injury are greatly outweighed by the dangers of catching a vaccine-preventable disease. The measles vaccine, for instance, can cause a temporary reduction in platelets (which control bleeding after an injury) in 1 in 30,000 children, but 1 in 2,000 will die if they get measles itself. The DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis/chicken pox) vaccine can cause seizures or a temporary 'shocklike' state in 1 in 14,000 people, and acute encephalitis (brain swelling) in 11 in 1 million. But the diseases it prevents are fatal in 1 in 20 cases, 1 in 10 cases, and 1 in 1,500 cases, respectively."

Bottom line is that Castillo leaves out of his guest opinion the most important information that parents should have in making the decision to opt out of vaccinating their children.

Gary Dielman

Baker City

The Baker City Herald
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