I am not anti-vaccine and I will be voting yes on Question 1.

The pertussis vaccine was first introduced in the 1930s. Years later, many cases came to light of children who had very serious reactions, including brain damage. In 1986, one of my children had a reaction to this vaccine. While the reaction would not be considered serious enough to get a medical exemption under the current law, we made the decision to stop all further boosters based on the recommendation of our family doctor. My children continued to receive every other vaccine on schedule. Documented reactions and advocacy by parents eventually led to a safer version of this vaccine being introduced in 1992. My daughter is now a healthy 33-year-old woman, with a healthy fully vaccinated child of her own.

While drugs are tested before they are introduced into the market, children are not included in clinical trials for obvious reasons. New medications and vaccines have only been tested on healthy adults. This is not always adequate information to predict how children will react. Drug reactions are real. When problems occur, and are well documented, changes are made, but not until then.

It is important that we remember vaccine manufacturers are for-profit drug companies who seek to bring medications to market as quickly, and as cheaply as possible, in order to maximize their own profits.

Yes on 1 supporters simply do not want to lose control over our family’s health care. Lawmakers would do better to spend their time and energy on programs that educate parents, so that they can, with the help of their family doctors, make well-informed decisions about their children’s health care.

I am a fully vaccinated, college-educated, professional, wife, mother and grandmother who will be voting yes on Question 1.

Karen Foley

Skowhegan


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