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A Pox on Immunization Clinics' Foes

August 08, 1993

* When the lights go out in Orange County homes tonight and the children have been tucked in bed, let us close our eyes and lament the loss of a thousand points of light reflected in the eyes of children. Lights that are being put out by the all-Republican Board of Supervisors in their withdrawal of support for free child-immunization clinics ("Immunization Plan Mired in Allegations" Aug. 2).

Maybe it is too simplistic to think that a coalition of nonprofit agencies like the American Red Cross and the Girl Scouts and a political party like the Democrats could jointly sponsor a free child-immunization drive. Perhaps it is too naive to believe that volunteers working together could successfully inoculate 1,000 children from low-income families. Conceivably they could do it without any government costs except for the vaccine from the County Health Care Agency. Dozens of nurses and doctors and other volunteers, like myself, won't have the opportunity to stand tall and hold up their little lights and let them shine at the immunization clinics if the Board of Supervisors has its way. The concept of a thousand points of light seems to have dimmed Republican eyes because they would rather curse the darkness than to let a Democrat light a candle.

Enough is enough. There is enough blame to go around this county a thousand times over. The county officials blame poor planning by the Democrats, the Democrats blame the Republicans for playing politics, and the Republicans blame the political overtones of free child immunizations.

Meanwhile, the dangers of measles and mumps cross party lines. Even Republicans are not immune. If we don't do it, who should the children blame?

MAUREEN M. DRUCKER

Santa Ana

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