Opinion

Vaccination law a reasonable solution

To the editor:

I’d like to share why my fellow health professionals are voting no on Question 1. Vaccines are a pillar of public health. I have given vaccines thousands of times and I know they are safe and effective. It is frightening to see diseases like measles, diseases we thought we had conquered, make a comeback. These outbreaks demonstrate that we’re all responsible for community immunity. And when our public spaces and schools become risky for kids and fragile community members, we must take action. 

As a pharmacist and as a parent, I strongly oppose those who wish to tear down this commonsense public health policy. Trust your doctors and pharmacists — vote no on Question 1 on March 3.

And I’d like to share why I am voting no on Question 1. As a pharmacist and baby boomer, I have seen firsthand the devastating effects of diseases like measles and polio. I still remember community members in wheelchairs and iron lungs suffering the effects of these diseases. Now, as these diseases are making a comeback, I worry about my vulnerable patients — those too young to be vaccinated and those who are in treatment for diseases like leukemia and can’t be vaccinated. 

Because Maine has the nation’s highest whooping cough outbreaks, I have had to begin advising parents to not bring their newborns out in public until they can be vaccinated. 

The law passed last spring provides a reasonable solution to this problem: we will make our schools safe for children by requiring vaccination against the worst communicable diseases. We must protect our kids and vote no on Question 1 on March 3.

Charles Ouellette, RPh

Fort Kent

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