EDITOR: The commentary about vaccinations in Sunday's Forum section ("Falling vaccination rate puts the herd at risk"), especially its final paragraph, prompted a vivid 50-year-old memory and my hope that this story might save a life.

The measles vaccine was introduced in 1963, but it was offered to only the most susceptible. Unfortunately, that did not include healthy 5-year-old children or 30-year-old adults. My 5-year-old daughter contacted measles from a playmate, and she was ill for weeks. While she was recovering, her father was stricken, convulsed into a coma and hospitalized for three months. He did not recover. He never got to watch his daughters or four grandchildren grow into beautiful adults.

Those three months were, beyond a doubt, the worst of my 78 years. I don't wish them on anyone, or the extremely sad result that our daughters had no father. We all struggled for a long time.

Please consider vaccines seriously. I believe that the chances of serious illness or death because of no vaccination are much higher than any side effects of the vaccine.


Santa Rosa