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    Anti-vaxxers prey on parents’ fears

    Re “Mounting a ground war against anti-vaxxers” (Editorial, Jan. 31): I would love to hold anti-vaxxers accountable for the diseases and occasional deaths that result from vaccine-preventable illness in the youngest and frailest of our society. These people prey on the fears of parents and caregivers. It is much easier to destroy confidence than to build it. Even harder is the job of a parent or caregiver who is trying to do what is best for those in their charge, usually without the benefit of medical training.

    The strongest thing we can do to support parents is to make their choices easier. Some arguments, such as whether to vaccinate, do not have two sides. Policies such as philosophical exemption are a travesty, because they suggest there is a legitimate choice. Experience has shown that the best way to ensure that vaccination happens is to make it required, routine, and common.

    Parents want to do what is best. The case for vaccination is stronger than other interventions that we take unquestioningly. Let’s stop torturing parents by making them feel like they need to go to medical school; they have so many other things to do. Let’s show them that this argument has only one side: vaccinate.

    Marian W. Wentworth

    President and CEO

    Management Sciences for Health