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Response to Ms. Jane Brody | The New York Times
[October 06, 2000]

Letters to the Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036

To the Editor:

We applaud Jane Brody's October 3 column "For the Vaccine-Wary, a Lesson in History." Her outline of the benefits of immunization, and the risks we take as individuals and for our communities if our children are not immunized is more than just compelling -- it is clearly supported by decades of medical science.

Scientific fact must be the basis of every vaccine decision. The facts show that, in far less than one person's lifetime, we have seen such a dramatic decline in vaccine-preventable diseases that many doctors practicing today have never seen a case of Hib meningitis, measles, or mumps. Without ever realizing it, we all experience the benefits of vaccines every day.

Pediatricians and medical researchers, who devote their lives to the care of children, have children's health as their top priority. Vaccines are extremely safe, and they continue to become safer due to advances in medical research. We must continue to use science as our guiding principle in deciding how and when to immunize our children. Our public health is too important to take that risk.

Bruce Gellin, MD, MPH
Executive Director
The National Network for Immunization Information

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