Oct. 4, 2012: Our readers write

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Vaccination critical to fight meningitis

As students are starting a new school year, the Kentucky School Nurses Association has an important message for parents: make sure your preteens and teens are up-to-date on their meningococcal vaccinations.

The fact is, many are not – public health officials just released a report showing that although Kentucky’s meningococcal vaccination rates have improved, only 55 percent of teens have been vaccinated against meningitis, a rare but serious disease that can kill a child in just one day.

Vaccination is the best way to help prevent the disease. Parents need to make sure their children are vaccinated beginning at age 11 or 12, and health officials also recommend that teens receive a booster dose by age 18 to help protect them during the years they’re at greatest risk.

With children back in school, parents shouldn’t delay getting them vaccinated. Many activities that go hand-in-hand with adolescents, such as sharing water bottles or eating utensils and kissing, can actually increase their risk of contracting meningitis.

Education is the first step; we’re calling on parents to help us boost vaccination rates by speaking with their child’s health care provider about vaccination. For information, go to www.VoicesOfMeningitis.org or join the conversation on Facebook.

Belinda Stivers

Kentucky School Nurses Association (KSNA)



Allow gay conversion therapy

Let parents decide whether to spend their money on gay conversion therapy. This is America, not some Islamic country where all decisions come from some dictator. In this country there are advertisements aired and choices freely made.

Are gays afraid some young people will be helped into a life-fulfilling and family-sustaining lifestyle, and find honor and happiness therein?

Are they afraid of the possible shame of being found in the Sodom and Gomorah choice? As young people’s Christian (or other) faith grows, their government (U.S. or state laws) should not interfere.

Steven C. Barrowes