Saturday, April 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Letters: Immunizations key to disease prevention

Immunizations are vital to health

This week is national infant immunization week and as the medical director of the Department of Health in Hernando County, I'd like to highlight the critical role vaccination plays in protecting our children and communities. It's easy to think of vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, measles, and mumps as diseases of the past, but the truth is they still exist. Children in the United States can and do still get some of these diseases.

In 2013 there was a higher than normal number of measles cases nationally, including 58 in New York City. It was the largest reported outbreak of measles in the U.S. since 1996. Locally we did not see any measles cases in 2013, but we did see three cases of pertussis (whooping cough) and five cases of chicken pox have been reported since Jan 1.

Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death, and they are safe. Very serious health events are extremely rare and are far more likely to result from a vaccine-preventable disease than by a vaccine. The benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the risk, and many more injuries and deaths would occur without vaccines. Through immunization, we can now protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age 2. Immunizations help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.

Recommended vaccines are available at no cost to children 18 and younger through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. For information, visit, or contact the Department of Health in Hernando County at (352) 540-6800, ext. 82052.

Fermin Leguen, M.D., Brooksville


Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18