To the Editor:
Janine Hum’s article (“Broad use of meningitis vaccine questioned,” 1/30) on meningitis vaccinations in Connecticut should give a lot of parents and students something to think about. Although I, who lost my 18-year-old son to Meningococcal meningitis because he put off getting his vaccine, am absolutely of the opinion that we parents should do everything we can to protect our children, I guess, unfortunately, that some folks might say the cost of a dinner out is worth betting that your child won’t be stricken.
It is hard enough to ensure our population receives the “required” vaccines, so when the Center for Disease Control and Prevention won’t definitively state that our children absolutely should be vaccinated with this safe vaccine — although they will make sure their own children are — protection against meningitis in this country is incredibly difficult to ensure.
When you watch your child or friend dying or losing their limbs in front of you from this vaccine-preventable disease, you will know.
We dropped our apparently healthy son off on Saturday night at his dorm. He was dead Sunday night. That is not a scare tactic, just a sad fact we hope other families will avoid by ensuring their teens and young adults are vaccinated.
February 5, 2002
The writer is the director of the Meningitis Prevention and Awareness Children’s Trust.