‘Kupchick an anti-vaxxer’
To the Editor:
Earlier this year, Representative Brenda Kupchick co-sponsored House Bill 5135 in the Connecticut state assembly. This bill, which died in committee, would have prohibited any health care professional from administering a vaccine containing thimerosal to children under the age of three or to pregnant women.
Thimerosal is used as a preservative in some vaccines. It has been shown to be harmless in small amounts because the body metabolizes and passes it as ethylmercury. However, anti-vaxxers regularly conflate ethylmercury with a very different compound called methylmercury which, while toxic, has never been used in vaccines.
While thimerosal has been largely removed from children’s vaccine schedules, it is sometimes still used in flu vaccines. The CDC recommends that high-risk groups — which include young children and pregnant women — get an annual flu shot, and HB 5135 may have complicated or prevented those populations from being vaccinated against the flu.
Further, HB 5135 would have prohibited schools from establishing immunization requirements “for diseases that are noncommunicable, including, but not limited to, hepatitis B and human papillomavirus.” Of course, both hep B and HPV are communicable diseases, which means they are passed from person to person. Every year hepatitis B kills 750,000 people globally. It spreads from exposure to infected blood or body fluids, and as any parent knows, whether it’s from a bloody nose or a skinned knee, kids bleed at school. Banning requirements for immunization from hep B would have endangered school children.
Brenda Kupchick is an anti-vaxxer. By co-sponsoring HB 5135, Kupchick has demonstrated that she has little regard for public health or the safety of children. She does not deserve to hold public office, and she certainly does not deserve our votes.