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Give vaccines by choice

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Medical decisions should be based on a risk/benefit evaluation. With 40 years of experience as an R.N. and N.P., it is my opinion that the government is dealing fast and loose with new vaccines. Some of the teenage girls vaccinated with Gardasil for HPV, died. HPV is not fatal and can be detected with a PAP smear. Revaccination for whooping cough has not been necessary because our population was protected by what is called “herd” immunity. Since everyone was vaccinated as a child, the virus just wasn’t around. Today, contagious disease is making a comeback due to the increasing number of non-immunized immigrants. Whooping cough is usually not fatal in adults and until we see an outbreak in this population, the potential risk associated with the new vaccine is greater than the risk of contracting the disease. You do have a choice. California has a Religious and Philosophical Exemption from school immunization requirements. It is found in the California Health and Safety Code, section 12035. KATE WILLIS, Foresthill