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Saving a life

  • 2/5/2011: A7:

    PC: Medical assistant Marjorie Diaz updates 4 immunization Elsie Allen freshman Asael Fernandez, 14 on Friday Afternoon at the Elsie Allen Health Center located on the high school campus. Fernandez's injections included the Tdap, which will be required by law for all students next fall.

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.

JOYCE ANDREWS

Santa Rosa


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