Concerning Devin Kennemore’s piece (“Unvaccinated students are being unfairly penalized,” My View, Sept. 5): No “medical apartheid” is involved. His daughter is learning something he should teach her: Choices have consequences. New Mexico law makes it unlawful for students to enroll unless immunized or otherwise properly exempted. According to the New Mexico Department of Health, students must be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles and other risks. Seriously held religious belief and medical exceptions apply, as they do to the COVID-19 vaccine. But the Department of Health site states in boldface “the law does not grant immunization exemptions for philosophical or personal reasons.”
“My body, my choice” is a philosophical or personal objection to vaccination, not a seriously held religious belief or medical condition. If student vaccination becomes mandatory and his daughter refuses, the result is the same as if she refused measles vaccination — stay home — live with the consequences of her decision.
Tom and Judy Carr
I must respond to Devin Kennemore’s article about his daughter and her decision not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. It sounds like the school does have a plan to ensure his daughter continues to receive high-quality education: It is to get vaccinated. That. Is. The. Plan. COVID-19 is a public health problem. The public school system is concerned about the health of the school population as a whole and lacks the resources to cater to a single student or parent. Students, faculty, parents and staff must all come together to fight COVID-19 in the schools and minimize spread. They. Do. Care. His point about “my body, my choice” (is that him or his daughter speaking?) implies freedom of action for the individual over collectivism, but we are facing a public health crisis. As a biologist, he must understand virus spread and how individual versus collective practices can make a difference in the spread of a virus. If Kennemore feels so strongly about his daughter being in the classroom with real teachers and classmates (as he stated in his article), Then. Get. Her. Vaccinated!
I commend Floyd Cable for his reasoned refutation of New Mexico Freedoms Alliance (“U.S. used to understand the concept of the common good,” My View, Sept. 5). Then there’s Devin Kennemore’s contention that “my body, my choice” gives a person the right to take actions that knowingly endanger the lives of others. By this logic, we have the right to get drunk and then drive on public roads — after all, it is “my body, my choice.”