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Letter: ‘Expert’ opinions

In response to the opinion of Dr. Eugene Sacks, you hold yourself out as an expert and call Heather Bergquist’s opinion misinformed, and like Jay Wissot, infer she is stupid. I assume, in your commentary, you are referring to an article from Pediatrics, titled, “Responding to Parental Refusals of Immunization of Children,” where, as an “expert” you extrapolate, manipulate and misconstrue this 2005 guidance with respect to well-established, fully-vetted immunizations, and apply the article’s guidance to an emergency use authorized COVID-19 immunization to bully Bergquist and any other parents who agree with her.

While the article outlines the risk/benefit ratio when parents decline well-established, fully-vetted immunizations for their child, the current emergency use authorized COVID-19 immunization was never contemplated when the article was written in 2005. In referencing Bergquist’s commentary, you use Wissot’s comment “too stupid to know how stupid they are” (your words not mine), implying you are smarter than those who question the risk/benefit of the emergency use authorized COVID-19 vaccine in children. Since the beginning of the pandemic, evidenced-based data and guidelines have continually evolved. Questioning is not denying facts, but the cornerstone for scientific inquiry.

In time, this emergency use authorized COVID-19 immunization may, in fact, receive full authorization and parents may become receptive to immunize for COVID-19, but bullying and name-calling based on your qualifications as a self-righteousness “expert” will never help. Parents should be consulting their trusted pediatrician or family practice provider as opposed to politicians or so called “experts” to make informed choices regarding the risk/benefits related to the emergency use authorized Pfizer-BoiNTech COVID-19 vaccine based on the data.



Not only are you arrogant, but misguided with respect to Colorado immunization law. As a parent and former school nurse, I am a proponent of childhood immunization. Nevertheless, liberal Colorado immunization laws allow not only medical exemptions (from a health provider where immunization would endanger the health of a child or is medically contraindicated), but also religious or personal belief exemptions signed annually by a parent, guardian, or emancipated minor (see C.R.S.§ 25-4-903). You are condescendingly ignorant with respect to Colorado immunization law. Again, as an advocate for childhood immunizations, I understand the benefit and risks to all children including those who cannot be immunized and are at risk of infection.

I believe accurate, unbiased information must be presented to a parent from their trusted health provider. While you opine that parental refusal of immunization is tantamount to medical neglect and should be reported to child protective services, again, you are misguided. In the summer of 2020, during COVID-19, Gov. Jared Polis signed into law House Bill 20-1297 clarifying and affirming personal immunization exemptions cannot be used as the sole basis for child abuse or neglect for purposes of Colorado’s Children’s Code. Specifically, C.R.S. §19-3-103(3) states “refusing an immunization on the grounds of medical, religious, or personal belief considerations … by itself, does not constitute child abuse or neglect by a parent or legal guardian for purposes of this article 3.”



You and your friend, Wissot, are liberal bullies. It is up to the Colorado legislature to enact more stringent immunization laws. Calling parents stupid will not increase the childhood vaccination rate in Eagle County, but maybe that would work in Tennessee. As the saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Deborah McBride

Avon


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