Credit: Getty Images/Joe Raedle

I recall the days of disabled polio victims, miscarriages from rubella, friends deafened from measles, fear of lockjaw from tetanus, as well as chicken pox, mumps and more. You can bet that when vaccines for these diseases came out, we were first in line to get them as children and, later, for our own children as well.

Today’s parents lack these experiences, or some would not make foolish decisions against vaccination — some rooted in fraudulent British medical research in the 1990s that linked them with autism, but was then retracted.

New York State should eliminate its religious exemption for vaccines and allow only medical exemptions [“End religious exemptions for vaccines,” Editorial, Feb. 8].

However, New York should be aware that after California banned personal belief exemptions in 2015, the number of medical exemptions for children more than tripled, cutting into an increase in compliance. The journal Pediatrics reported in November that some doctors were granting exemptions without medical justification, and one was making money by granting temporary exemptions costing $300 per renewal. Further, Pediatrics points out that Mississippi and West Virginia, the two other states allowing only medical exemptions, require them to be reviewed by state health officials.

Margaret Regensburg-Drowns,


Editor’s note: The writer is an adjunct instructor in social policy at the School of Social Welfare at Stony Brook University.

Happy with refund on 2018 taxes

I just filed my 2018 income taxes, and with a slightly higher income from savings interest, this year I am getting a refund approximately $1,700 higher than last year. (I am retired. My wife works, but her income stayed steady and she did not change her withholding. We file jointly.)

Thank you, President Donald Trump, for your tax reform law.

Now if we could get Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state politicians to cut spending and taxes, we all would benefit. Cuomo should stop blaming the new tax plan for the state’s revenue shortfall and take responsibility [“Cuomo: Tax revenue down $2.8B,” News, Feb. 5].

Bernard L. McGrath,


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