To the editor:
As one of the families suffering from whooping cough in the Lawrence area this winter, I take issue with your article that definitively states that vaccination is the best protection against the disease. Your reporter fails to report that even people vaccinated for pertussis can contract the disease, though they carry and transmit it without recognizable symptoms, thusly spreading the disease unknowingly.
Though my family was misdiagnosed the first eight weeks we had it, I feel thankful that our symptoms presented so conspicuously that we could be diagnosed accurately and could then stay home and do our part to stop the spread of this difficult illness. Additionally, I’d like to respond to the considerable flak I’ve been receiving, as a representative of the unvaccinated population, on the Journal-World’s wellcommons.com forum in response to this article.
The reasons so many of us nationwide, and undeniably here in Lawrence, choose not to vaccinate are largely misunderstood. Rather than dismissing us as crazy, please listen to our concerns; our questions are quite relevant in this great health care debate.
Though we have yet to see convincing, unbiased evidence of either the long-term efficacy of the herd-immunity approach to disease prevention, or the safety of the vaccinations themselves, we are eager to engage in real scientific debate with individuals, and especially researchers, willing to face fear of disease, look closely at the manipulation of our fears by the profit-driven health care industry, and find effective solutions to the ever-evolving maladies of our human existence.