Why do some parents fear vaccines? Well, it is true that the pharmaceuticals industry holds too much sway over our political process and our nation’s doctors.

It is true that we are exposed to countless toxins in everyday products. And it’s true that autism is a serious problem, not yet fully understood.

But it does not necessarily follow, as anti-vaccine proponents would contend, that vaccines are full of autism-causing toxins, and that Big Pharma is covering it all up. The science is clear: vaccines are not harmful. And they must be very widely used in order to be effective in stopping the spread of deadly diseases.

Here’s what I’d say to those passionate activists caught up in the anti-vax movement: Want to take on Big Pharma? Get involved with bringing Purdue to justice for OxyContin, or support legislation to stop drug price hikes. Want to combat toxins? Shut down some coal plants, strengthen water protections, fight to get a Superfund site cleaned up. Autism? Advocate for better, and better funded, special education resources, across all school districts.

I do believe we’re all trying to do the best by our kids, and there are so many legitimate threats to their safety. But vaccines are not one of them. Thank you to my senator, Ben Chipman, for supporting the full, unamended version of LD 798. Lets make sure he and the rest of our legislature hears loud and clear: it’s time to pass LD 798.

Caitlin Marshall

Portland


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