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'Losing Ground on Vaccines'

January 11, 1988

One fact that your editorial "Losing Ground on Vaccines" (Jan. 2) forgot to mention was that vaccinations are not only beneficial to people receiving them, but they are also cost-effective. It is unfortunate that when cutting services such as vaccinations and immunizations, those who are making the decisions are simply setting in motion a process which will lead to higher health-care costs in the future.

Vaccinations are one of the few medical procedures which can assuredly prevent future chronic, and often life-threatening, illnesses.

But for those people who cannot afford the costs of immunizations, the development of a chronic disease because they were not originally vaccinated will cost even more.

If low-income individuals receive immunizations provided by the county and other health-care agencies, they will avoid more expensive conditions which will, in all probability, be treated in facilities supported by taxpayer dollars.

Vaccines are a cheap way of ensuring our population's safety and health, of protecting our children, and of saving our tax dollars in the long run.

Instead of a constant concern towards immediacy, perhaps our nation's people would be better served with an eye toward the future and better financial and health planning.

In the meantime, private and public health-care facilities will attempt to reach a 90% immunization goal so wisely advised by the surgeon general . . . even though it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so.

CRAIG A. VINCENT-JONES

Development Officer

South Bay Free Clinic

Manhattan Beach

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