Mainers should take note that bills regarding childhood immunization have been referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services.

That committee has had its public hearings, but there is still time for Maine legislators to make the right choice and eliminate the philosophical exemption from childhood vaccinations.

As our state considers this issue, it should be known that there is no – I repeat, no – scientific study that demonstrates harm from routine and proper vaccinations.

There is, however, considerable evidence that diminished herd immunity from those opting out of required childhood vaccines increases risks to persons undergoing chemotherapy, who are immunocompromised, infirm or – Maine’s largest demographic – who are elderly.

That Maine is the oldest state in the union (median age of 43.6) makes this more than a childhood public health issue. It is an issue that should be understood and advocated for by Maine’s elderly, because it’s their health being put at risk.

I hope that my fellow citizens and our elected legislators take a principled stand in favor of our elderly and infirm neighbors – and against the willful ignorance of our “philosophical objectors.”

Brad Smith


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