l don’t know if anyone was aware that the entire nation of Samoa (population 200,000, or one-fifth the size of Maine) has been quarantined because of a measles epidemic that’s claimed 70 lives. Samoans said they were reluctant to get vaccines because they were suspicious of them. Sound familiar?

We are soon going to vote on whether to overturn a new law mandating vaccinations for all children entering public schools. Repealing this law would be a health care disaster for the state of Maine.

The World Health Organization says that vaccine hesitancy is one of the top 10 health threats in the world. Thousands of people die each year from diseases they never would have gotten if they had been vaccinated. The anti-vaccination movement says vaccinations violate religious liberty, yet Judaism, Islam and Christianity all support vaccinations and the Vatican has pleaded for all children to be inoculated. There is no relationship between vaccinations and autism.

A 2005 Indiana outbreak was linked to parents who refused to have their children vaccinated. In 2018-19, 654 cases of measles broke out in New York state, largely because members of the Orthodox Jewish community believed anti-vaccination tracts, although rabbis urged them to get shots.

Finally, look at the case of an unvaccinated young Oregon boy who spent 57 days in a hospital for a tetanus infection in 2017. In addition to costing the state of Oregon over $800,000, the child’s immune system was compromised. In the end, his parents still refused to have him vaccinated.

I urgently request that Mainers reject the people’s veto in March.

Tom Dipasqua

Scarborough

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