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Editor:

This letter is in support of your wonderful editorial of Aug. 3 concerning vaccinations.

A retired pediatrician recalls the toll of measles. I am a retired pediatrician. I began my pediatric training in 1959 before the measles vaccine was approved for general use in 1963. During my training years I treated many hospitalized children with serious side effects of measles, such as encephalitis and coma with brain damage. Making daily hospital rounds and experiencing firsthand sadness and agony of the parents is something I have never forgotten.

The disease itself can be severe. High fevers, 104 degrees, complete annoying total body rash, dehydration and a miserable staccato hacking cough. The cough would debilitate and dehydrate the younger children requiring hospital admission for IV therapy. How could any parent be aware of these risks and refuse vaccination?

During my active years at work, it seemed that about every 10 years the naysayers would rise up and condemn the safety of the measles vaccine. They would quote studies that were not scientifically valid. The naysayers were wrong then and they are wrong now. My experience during many years of administering hundreds and hundreds of vaccinations: We never encountered a single serious side effect.

I hope that by sharing my personal experience, I can do my part to empower any skeptical parents to make a correct decision by having their children vaccinated against measles and all the other required immunizations.

Joseph Loffredo, M.D., Lake George

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