To the Editor:

Several years ago, then-Gov. Rick Perry was mercilessly excoriated by the anti-vaccine social media for suggesting and encouraging parents to have their children vaccinated with the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine (as early as age 9).

Over 90% of cervical cancer is caused by HPV and over 80 million are estimated to have been exposed.

For the past 10 years, there has been a decline on positive infections, perhaps thanks to better communi-cation between parents and physicians.

It’s the best option to prevent cervical cancer in women and rectal, anal and penile cancer in men. There’s no evidence that it causes long term side effects, and if administered before they are sexually active, is highly effective in preventing those types of cancer. It is not recom-mended for those over age 26.

In the not so distant future, a new vaccine is expected, which will treat and prevent COVID-19. The anti-vaccine group is still around, so effective communication and health literacy are extremely important.

Vaccines are seldom harmful; on the contrary, they force a barrier between us and disease.

Can one imagine humanity without these vaccines? Yellow fever, small pox, typhoid, HPV, cholera, etc.

Everyone is aware of COVID-19’s potential to spread and the deadly consequences. Protecting children is a parent’s responsibility and denying them protection from disease is failing their duties (in my opinion).

My three children and wife received several immunizations prior to overseas deployments. Parents on the opposite side of this should reconsider and become involved by communication with their family physician and researching it themselves.

For your children’s sake, please have them vaccinated.

P. C. Santiago

retired master sergeant


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