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Oregonians Speak
Charlie Bevins is an above-average Portland 12 year old. He is an excellent student who plays hockey and helps take care of his younger brother. His friends love him for his wacky sense of humor as well as his loyalty. To see him today, it’s hard to imagine how ill he had been when he was just 3. “He had a fever with vomiting and diarrhea for two days,” says his mother Katie.
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The Bevins:
Rotavirus

Late September is a bittersweet time in Oregon. Summer is ending and students are heading off to school; the sun hangs a bit lower and the wind blows a bit colder. For one McMinnville mother, September is the month in which her boy Drew was born. Holly Burch often goes to the skateboarding park he loved, early in the morning before the skaters get there, and thinks about the beautiful strong child that she lost to a vaccine-preventable disease.
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The Ottleys:
Meningitis

Veronica Hernandez is convinced that immunizations are important for infants. When this Gresham mom became pregnant in 2009, a misinformed friend told her the H1N1 influenza vaccine could be dangerous for her baby. But the H1N1 vaccine was manufactured the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine, and proven to be safe and effective. Pregnant women were over four times more likely to be hospitalized for the flu in Oregon than non-pregnant women in the same age group. “My doctor convinced me it was much safer to get the H1N1 flu vaccine than not get one,” says Veronica.
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The Hernandezes:
Immunizations for pregnant women
and infants

When Jill Evans’ gave birth to a baby girl in mid-January 2009, she was elated, yet concerned. Baby Grace had arrived a few weeks early and was on the small side, but she thrived until she was about four weeks old. “She suddenly seemed sort of lethargic, sleeping a lot,” says Jill, a mother and schoolteacher who lives in Winston, outside of Roseburg. “Then she started coughing, it almost sounded like she was choking.”

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The Evans:
Whooping cough (pertussis)

Zachary Thompson is a busy 10-year-old boy. He likes games, reading, riding his bike and playing with his friends. He participates in Scouts, sports, school choir and plays. But in February 2011, Zachary prepared to do something most fifth graders never do: testify in front of a state legislative committee. Zachary lives with his family in Monmouth, and his mother Dana takes all three of the kids in for regular immunizations as part of a healthy lifestyle.
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The Thompsons:
Revaccination

Would you like to share how vaccines benefit your family and your community? E-mail sara.beaudrault@state.or.us