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Cityview needs to understand the power of the press


Cityview’s recent cover story, “Shot or not” (Feb. 7) didn’t stray too far from its opening subject line. That of a fairy tale, Mary Poppins.                

While the author of the article seemed to want to dwell on every perceived negative of past vaccinations such as “needle injection, thimerosal, egg protein,” etc., what the author failed to inform the readers of is that there are needleless forms of flu vaccine, there are cell based instead of “prepared using chicken eggs” and thimerosal free forms of flu vaccine.                

Those quoted in opposition seemed like really top notch “go to experts” any good journalist would track down. There was Laurie Baker who proclaimed, “I don’t think I should have to get a vaccination to protect somebody else.” “It might sound selfish,” she said. At least she was right about that. I hope I am never within range when she sneezes, because why should she cover her mouth to protect others?                

Then there was Cassie Gilmore who had done a class research project at Des Moines Area Community College, and based on her findings, decided to exempt her children from immunizations. With that kind of local expertise, we may as well eliminate the Center for Disease Control and board up the doors of the National Institute of Health. Sorry, Iowa Department of Public Health, you can go home now. We have Cassie.                

“You can follow the money trail” was one of the responses of this apparently esteemed research scientist. Did the author actually check to see if this woman even passed the class or even took the class?                


Well the doctor that dropped her daughter as a patient certainly wasn’t chasing the money when he/she told her to find another provider. Perhaps he/she was being “selfish” in an effort to protect his or her other patients.               

The author appears to not have spoken to even one doctor for this story. Why didn’t she talk to the pediatric infectious disease specialists in town or the state epidemiologist or local nurses in an ER or on the floor of patients ravaged by vaccine preventable illnesses?                

I pray these mothers never have to see their children lose an arm or a leg to meningitis or die of liver cancer or lose a spouse to flu when much of it could have so easily be prevented.                

I hope the young author comes to fully understand the power of the press and the responsibilities that come with being a steward of it.

Mike Rowley


Editor’s note: To address a few of Mike Rowley’s points, 1. We called Mercy Medical Center for input from doctors and spoke with media coordinator Gregg Lagan who said he would look into our inquiries and call us back or have a doctor call us back. As stated in the article, no one from the hospital got back to us; 2. FluMist was mentioned as another form of the vaccination in one of the CDC-cited sidebars accompanying the article; and 3. Cassie Gilmore supplied us with her DMACC essay — it received a 97 percent and, she passed the class with a 98 percent overall. Mr. Rowley’s line of work, by the way, is pharmaceutical sales.

Send your opinions to Cityview, 414 61st Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50312. Fax us at 953-1394, or e-mail us at Please limit letters to 200 words or less. Cityview reserves the right to edit for length and clarity. The writer’s address and daytime phone number will not be printed, but must be given for verification.

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