Bad science, great marketing, and out-of-state financing is the dangerous truth behind the Yes on 1 campaign in Maine.

We, the undersigned, Andrea Abrell, D.O., Grace Adamson, J.D., M.D., Katharine M.K. Anderson, M.D., John Barnes, M.D., Nathaniel Bowling, M.D., Nadine Byers, D.O., Michael Clark, M.D., Rachel Criswell, M.D., MS, Kathleen Dieckmann, M.D., Mary Jo Fisher, M.D., Lauren T. Hall, D.O., Lara Householder, D.O., Kathryn Hoffman, D.O., Jonathan Karnes, M.D., Kari Koch, M.D., Caroline LaFave, D.O., Amy Madden, M.D., Alane O’Connor, DNP, Jenny Pisculli, M.D., Kathleen Polonchek, M.D., Cheryl Seymour, M.D., Carlen Smith, M.D., Corey D. Smith, PsyD., Mark Sutherland, D.O., C-NMM/OMM, Rachel Thomas, M.D., MPH, Amy Trelease-Bell, M.D., FAAFP, JoAnn Wang, D.O., CM.D., and Megan Wei, PA-C, represent Maine physicians and clinicians who have practiced around the world. In our global health work, many of us have seen polio, measles, whooping cough, tetanus, and other preventable diseases ravage the lives of children and families.

Polio is a highly contagious virus that can infect the brain and spinal cord causing paralysis. In the United States, most people have never witnessed the terror of a polio outbreak because a vaccine was invented in 1955 eradicating the disease in the U.S. by 1971. Ongoing vaccination efforts protect against this devastating disease, but, like the wildfire spread of coronavirus COVID-19, a global pandemic can easily recur.

A “no” vote on Question 1 will also prevent another deadly disease: measles. Because of successful vaccination drives, measles was virtually eliminated from the U.S. by 2000. But, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 1,282 cases of measles were confirmed in 2019, the most since 1992. Pockets of unvaccinated children are vulnerable to devastating outbreaks.

Is this referendum really about Big Pharma? Estimates place vaccines sales at 2-3% of “Big Pharma’s” trillion-dollar bottom line. Vaccines are not moneymakers for pharmaceutical companies.

Does Question 1 infringe on the right to education? Not at all, in fact, upholding the state mandate with a no vote ensures safe schools for all children, including those who cannot receive immunizations.


Does the new law infringe on parental rights? No, this piece of legislation supports the sanctity of parents’ relationship with their primary care clinician to discuss individual beliefs and appropriateness of medical care.

Please stand on the side of science, public health, and common sense. Vote no on Question 1 to keep Maine’s children and families safe.


Julia McDonald, D.O., M.P.H., lives in Augusta. She submitted this Another View on behalf of the undersigned.

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