As longtime fans of Senator Dave Miramant, we are mystified by his stand on legislation allowing parents to claim their religion as justification for not having their children vaccinated. This makes no sense to us.
Medical conditions should be the only permissible exemptions. People are free to believe that their God opposes vaccinations, though the religious community as a whole does not hold that view. But religious views have no place in legislative decisions affecting public safety.
If people send their unvaccinated children to public schools, they are imposing their beliefs on everyone else and putting other people’s children at risk. Diseases spread when enough people are not immunized. Herd-immunity is a fact.
The right to one’s own beliefs cannot supersede the right of the whole community to be protected from serious health risks. If parents choose not to believe the extensive scientific research into this question, those parents are free to home-school their children.
Dave Miramant is a man of good conscience and intelligence, but in this, he has it wrong. His vote to allow a “religious exemption” is putting children and other medically vulnerable people at serious risk. We are urging all of Knox County. Please tell him: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Sherry and Bruce Cobb, Union
Ellie Goldberg, Hope