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Letter: Let’s fight new, returning diseases together

Letter: Let’s fight new, returning diseases together

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In 2015, after traveling to Bismarck for Thanksgiving, my 25-year-old daughter got sick, and was diagnosed with measles. I got her medical records to make sure she had gotten her vaccines, and she had. With declining measles vaccination rates, some people will still become ill. Unfortunately for kids across the globe, even getting the vaccine in the first place is still a challenge.

Now more than ever, we must invest time and capital into the creation and distribution of vaccines. We cannot let these frightening, unprecedented times cause us to lose progress on diseases we have done so much to combat globally, such as polio and measles. Polio cases have decreased by 99% since 1988 and we are getting very close to completely eradicating the disease. Measles vaccines have saved 23 million lives since the year 2000 and a single life-saving vaccine can be produced for less than $4.

We are on the brink of creating a vaccine for COVID-19, but need to make sure ALL children have access to it and other lifesaving vaccines. If you believe in the importance of this mission, please contact Senator Hoeven and Senator Cramer this week to voice your support for global childhood immunization programs. No child, here in Bismarck or anywhere in the world, should have to suffer from a disease we already have the means to prevent, especially as the coronavirus rages on.

Linda Hoffman, Bismarck

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