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To The Editor:
Last week’s Valley Reporter carried an opinion piece supporting retention of the philosophical exemption regarding immunization and citing big business and profits in a negative context. In considering decisions around immunization of children, it seems the profitability status of vaccine manufacturers should not be a relevant factor, and personal issues regarding that profitability ought not be addressed using the bodies of children.
What should be relevant is the fact that we are imperfect and physically variable beings inhabiting a complex environment. Throughout the processes of research and a desire to learn about the workings of science, risk and uncertainty have been and will continue to be common companions in our ventures. Nevertheless, we have made good progress toward minimizing that risk and maximizing the probabilities of achieving desired outcomes.
As beneficiaries of the actions of those who preceded us and enabled this progress, do we not have an obligation to work toward maintaining and advancing these gains? Actions which, in the long term, predictably result in increasing risk and lowering the probability of success are not triumphs enabled by choice. They instead indicate a failure to understand, accept and act upon our sense of shared responsibility for our well-being and that of our host planet.