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Why Vaccines Will Never Be Mandatory

admin September 22, 2014

vaccines will never be mandatory

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Over the last few weeks, I’ve posted some new articles on vaccines.  This has led to a little backlash from people who believe that in encouraging parents to do research and make their own choices, that I am dangerous.  You see, some people still believe that vaccines are, or should be, fully mandatory.

By mandatory, they mean — you will get your child completely vaccinated on the CDC schedule, or face fines, being barred from public school, etc.  There’s no room for opting out of some, or choosing to delay.  You must follow exactly what the CDC says, including getting any and all new vaccines that are added to the schedule.

This is a completely ridiculous position.

The thing is, they keep harping on “herd immunity” and that your decision not to vaccinate could someday impact someone else.  (If they didn’t use this angle, and admitted that your decision mostly impacts you/your family, then no one would be all that upset about what anyone else chose.  They want peer pressure to try to force you into vaccination.)  But they act like vaccination — or the lack thereof — is some sort of special, magical circumstance that will have a strong impact on others, while nothing else will.

This just isn’t true.

Vaccines will never be mandatory.  Keep reading to find out why.

Does Vaccination Impact Others?

Yes.

Both vaccinating and not vaccinating could impact those around you.  The rotavirus vaccine, for example, often causes diarrhea.  Rotavirus is live, so the diarrhea contains the virus, which can shed and make other children ill.  This happens in daycare settings especially.  One study recommends that immunocompromised individuals stay away from babies who recently received rotavirus for the first 14 days after vaccination.  But how in the world is that possible?  Recently vaccinated babies will be going to grocery stores, church, etc. because their parents weren’t told there was a potential risk, and individuals can’t ask about the vaccination status of those babies….  (And if you, the parent, changed their diaper and didn’t wash your hands properly, you could spread it by touching things.)

On the other hand, the story that we’re often told is that an unvaccinated child might contract measles, or pertussis, and then spread it to a baby too young to be vaccinated, or an immunocompromised individual and kill them.  This is pure fiction.  It could happen, but it hasn’t.  There haven’t been any measles deaths in the U.S. in more than 10 years. (2014 data)

Realistically, the chances of someone coming across either a recently vaccinated individual, or an ill individual, and catching an illness about equally likely.  Which is to say, both are highly unlikely.  Both could happen.  

Often times, when someone does get sick, we don’t actually know for sure where it came from.  We don’t know who “spread” it or what their vaccination status was.  It’s often really difficult to pin down, especially if there’s an actual epidemic with hundreds or thousands of cases.  So it’s usually just speculation that it was caused by an unvaccinated person, or whatever the other explanation is.

Does It Even Matter?

No.

Honestly, it doesn’t.  It does not matter if you happen to spread an illness to another person.  (Well — it does.  But it doesn’t matter which illness it is.  And you should stay home if you know you’re sick to try to minimize the chances of spreading it.  But it can happen anyway, even if you take precautions, and in this case, when you did your best — it doesn’t matter.)

I’m not heartless.  It’s not that I don’t care about others.  (Although, yeah, I care about my own kids more.  That’s called “being a parent.”  Are you going to tell me that you love all kids as much as your own?)  Anyway, let me explain.

There are a thousand ways, every day, that our behavior could affect others.  Possibly in a really serious manner.  I highly doubt that anyone thinks about these things before they leave their house in the morning, though.  Let’s look at some of the ways.

Chemical Sensitivity

Some people are highly sensitive to chemicals, and breathing them in even briefly could cause the to struggle with breathing, have an asthma attack, or worse.  This includes chemicals like perfume or body spray, highly scented soaps or lotions, laundry detergent or fabric softener residue in clothing, or cigarette smoke.  Many people wear perfumes or lotions without thinking twice how it could impact others around them — even if they will be in enclosed spaces.  (It was actually when I got a headache from someone’s perfume in an enclosed space that I came up with the idea for this post.)

Allergies

Some people are extremely allergic to foods — usually nuts.  In these people, tiny traces of nuts can cause a full-blown anaphylactic reaction, which can cause death in as little as 20 minutes.  If you eat nuts and don’t brush your teeth and breath on someone, that could be enough.  If you don’t wash your hands after eating nuts and touch something that they touch, that could be enough.  And if you bring nut-based snacks with you (think: granola bars with nuts, Larabars, trail mix, nut butters) you might as well bring poison if you’re around someone with serious nut allergies.  And you don’t know which strangers might have a serious allergy.  

Going out in public with nuts with you or on your hands is arguably one of the most dangerous things you could do, especially with serious nut allergies on the rise.

Sniffles and More

A lot of people say they don’t have time to stay home when they are sick, or that it’s “not that bad” and go out while coughing, congested, or with other symptoms (a handful even go out while they have a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea — and not just to the doctor’s office).  This is very dangerous for people who are susceptible to illness, and yet people do it all the time.

There are lots more ways we can impact others.  People have other serious allergies besides nuts.  We could be distracted while driving — too tired, putting on make up, on a cell phone, drunk….  (Obviously the last is illegal, but the others usually aren’t.  Cell phones are illegal in some areas, but that doesn’t stop people from using them.)

How many people think, “I really shouldn’t make this phone call while driving, because if I were to pay less attention to the road, I could impact my fellow drivers?”  No, I’d venture to guess most don’t even consider the other drivers at all.

We Do What’s Right for Us

I’m not advocating being selfish.

The thing is, we all have so many things to think about when it comes to making decisions in our lives.  “How it might impact others” can’t and shouldn’t be at the top of the list, unless what you’re doing is extremely likely to have a serious impact on others.  i.e. you shouldn’t drive drunk, because the likelihood of you actually killing someone else is quite high, every single time you do it.

It would drive us crazy if we had to consider every little thing that might impact someone else before we left the house.

  • Did I have peanut butter for breakfast?
  • Did I wash sufficiently after?
  • Do my clothes smell like fabric softener?  Will I run into someone who is allergic to it?
  • Is my lotion or perfume going to bother anyone?
  • Should I use my cell phone while driving today, or will I get too distracted?

We just don’t think like that.  We think about what is the best for us.  Maybe peanut butter on toast is the healthiest quick breakfast we can manage.  Maybe we have to call the dentist to reschedule the appointment before we get to work (although I don’t recommend you use your cell phone while driving if you can avoid it).

Vaccination is not a magically different situation.

Vaccination is a medical decision.  It is one that comes with risks and benefits to the individual.  These risks are up to and including death.  We cannot mandate that individuals have to receive vaccinations for the benefit of others.  Not when the risk, however small, includes death.

We can’t erase the impact we might have on others, for good or for bad.  And we can’t single out any particular situation with a negligible risk — which is the case with vaccination vs. disease (no, you are not likely to die or be permanently disabled if you catch the measles) — and insist that other make decisions on our behalf.  We can’t.

I’m sure some people will call me selfish and mean for this stance, but frankly I’m not going to change it.  If you want to vaccinate or take whatever precautions you choose to protect yourself, I absolutely support that.  I think you should do that, if that is what is right for you.  But you don’t have the right to tell me I have to…for your benefit.

(And no.  I don’t believe you should vaccinate to protect my children.  I don’t care about “herd immunity” at all.  I don’t need you to protect them; I can protect them myself, in the ways that I choose.)

I’m not sure why this is so hard for some to understand.  We each do what is best for our own families.  That is all we can do.  And I promise that I’ll use any and all political connections I have (which are a lot at this point) to make sure that mandatory vaccination laws aren’t passed.  Let me be clear: I will fight with everything I have for the right of families to make their own choices.

As for the actual risk-benefit of vaccines vs. disease, that’s not clear cut either (meaning it’s not obvious that vaccination is much safer and better than illness), but that’s beyond the scope of this post.  Look for more information on that at the end of the week.

(Lest anyone try this out — this post wasn’t intended to be research-based or to convince anyone to vaccinate or not vaccinate.  It’s my opinion about the laws surrounding mandatory vaccination.  I have deliberately used very little evidence because I wasn’t addressing the issue of safety or efficacy.  I will address that later in the week, or you can refer to my previous posts on vaccination.  Please do not state that because this post contains no sources that I have done no research.  I’m not even going to publish those comments or argue with you about it; it’s a waste of my time.)

Do Vaccination Research — Vaccines Will Never Be Mandatory

I encourage everyone to do their own research.  Ask questions — literally, make a list of all the questions you have — and seek the answers.  Do not stop until you are satisfied.  Read through the CDC’s Pink Book.  Talk to your doctor.  Keep asking until you get answers.

If you decide to vaccinate, whether fully or partially, then we support you.

If you decide not to vaccinate, we support you.  There are plenty of other ways to protect your children.

How do you feel about mandating vaccines?

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  1. LOVE this post!!! I’m sure there are some trolls getting a red butt about it somewhere. That means you are doing a great job. Keep up the great work!!!

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  2. “There haven’t been any measles deaths in the U.S. in more than 10 years.”

    That’s absolutely right. And the reason there haven’t been any deaths is because most people are vaccinated — which protects both them, and those who can’t (or won’t) be vaccinated. Vaccines are introduced. Incidence rates fall dramatically. I’m not trying to be sarcastic, or mean, but do you not honestly see the connection?

    Denying herd immunity is also simply baffling to me. If there is a risk to a situation, no matter how likely or not it is, decreasing the number of times you are in that situation reduces the likelihood that it will affect you. This isn’t medicine, it is MATH, and logic. Do you not believe in those, either?

    Think about any situation. Maybe it is crossing the street, or climbing a ladder, or eating a steak. Each time you are in the situation, there is a percentage chance of something going wrong — you could get hit by a car, or fall off the ladder, or choke on the steak. Just for the sake of argument, let’s say that percentage is 10%. If you are in the situation once, 90% of the time, you will be OK. If you are in it twice, 81% (90% x 90%) of the time, you will be OK. If you are in it three times, 72.9% (90% x 90% x 90%) of the time, you will be OK. If you are in it four times, 65.61% (90% x 90% x 90% x 90%) of the time, you will be OK.

    Do you see the pattern?

    Fewer people with measles means fewer opportunities to come in contact with someone who has measles — which means less chance you will contract it, whether or not you are vaccinated. That’s herd immunity. It really could not be any more straightforward.

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  3. Another point you should mention is if a person is vaccinated, they are supposed to be protected… so why would it matter if their neighbor, or the guy sitting next to them in church, or handing them money at check out, was not vaccinated?? That just says you dont trust the vaccine chemical shit storm you had injected into your body…. seriously, I dont get that.

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  4. “If you want to vaccinate or take whatever precautions you choose to protect yourself, I absolutely support that. I think you should do that, if that is what is right for you. But you don’t have the right to tell me I have to…for your benefit.”

    In my opinion, this is what it all comes down to. Whether or not to vaccinate is a very personal decision, one that every parent has a right and a responsibility to fully research before making. There are risks and benefits either way, in my opinion, and you owe it to your children to understand the issue before making the decision. But it is a decision you should make only with your children in mind; do what is best for your children and your family. Don’t make a decision like this based on the idea of benefiting others. Medical decisions should never be made simply because they are perceived as being beneficial to the community as a whole, not if there is risk for the individual receiving the treatment.

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  5. I had the measles when I was a kid. Everyone did. We stayed home and got over it. When my uncle’s surgeon, a man in his forties with young children to raise, lost the use of his hands after getting the flu vaccine, I really started to question the current “wisdom” about vaccines. We should all be free to make our own decisions.

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  6. Totally and 100% agree… with everything. Especially the bit about staying home when you are sick. I think vaccines provide a false sense of protection… everyone thinks they are safe because of their precious vaccination. So they go out and make other people sick. THEY are the ones being irresponsible. Not me (who doesn’t vaccinate) but also does not leave the house if any of us are ill (which is RARE by the way).

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  7. I think this was a great article – it made a lot of common sense. I think those “scare tactics” they try and force on us are crazy. However, I am looking for a one-two sentence reply that we can give to people when they try to make us feel guilty. It’s always hard to condense these things down. Any suggestions?

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  8. Excellent article. Thankyou for writing it.

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  9. I absolutely love what you wrote, it makes perfect sense, and I truly couldn’t agree more. I didn’t know the dangers until 6 months ago, it never felt right to me in the first place. My intuition was screaming no. But like most parents, you feel bullied into vaccines, especially by doctors. What people don’t realize, is doctors get paid for doing the vaccines, its a seperate charge to the insurance company. More money, my ped for my son, looked shocked, and a bit nervous when i asked for the leaflet on the vaccines she had already given my son. What I read was horrifying, what is even more disturbing is she had no idea about the CDC news on the dangers, or maybe she was just playing dumb, either way its disturbing. Doctors are suppose to take an oath thall shall harm none…. Apparently only a selective few still practice it.

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  10. I read that in CT and NJ the flu shot was going to be mandatory in childcares and schools. True? How?

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  11. Couldn’t agree more! My responsibility is solely to my children and I for one will not risk their health no matter how “small” the risk to protect anyone else. I work diligently everyday to feed them nutritionally dense foods so that their body’s are capable of fighting off disease and I have absolute no obligation to “protect” the overweight, asthmatic kid who eats Mcdonalds and Mac n cheese everyday because their parents are too ignorant to make the connection between food, health and the ability to fight off disease.

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  12. I selectively vaccinate my children, so I’m with you on informed choice. I wonder though about your selection of measles as your example rather than Pertussis. Unfortunately Pertusis deaths have occurred recently, so pro-vac people will think of that and disregard you.

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  13. thank you so much…I feel the same & hope you are right!!

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  14. Never mandatory is a strong statement, while i am strickly Antivax’er i realize that our politicians are already bought and paid for. I figure the magic # is 10%, once we (the US) nears that number big pharma will go into panic.

    Now understand this, forcible vaccinating children against the parents wishes essentially negates the most treasured of all civil liberties, freedom of religion. Americans have allowed a slow and gradual erosion of many of our rights but the freedom to practice whatever form of worship is a founding pillar of our republic.

    Big pharma already gave this a trial run w/gardasil down in texas and we all see how that worked out but rest assured, if we as a nation start appoarching that 10% figure you”ll see big pharma try it again but with the leasons they learned down in Texas applied to the effort.

    The truth is spreading, and when enough eyes are open there will be a fight to forcibly impose the lie…be ready!!

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  15. This makes such a good point. I’ve yet to meet someone who could give me a good reason as to why my children are responsible for someone else’s health. I would never EVER expect someone else’s child to be subjected to a medical procedure that comes with a risk (like all medical procedures) just for my benefit.

    I do understand that there are immune-compromised individuals and young babies in this world, but THEY are responsible for their health. Not me or my children. My mother is on immune suppressing drugs for an auto-immune disease and therefor has compromised immunity. However, she would NEVER expect someone ELSE (let alone a child) to submit to multiple shots within a 2 year time-frame to protect HER. She takes her own precautions and is in charge of her own health, as should everyone else in her position.

    If you have a young baby and you are worried about them being exposed to germs, then don’t expose them. Keep them away from large crowds. Breastfeed them often and ask people to wash hands. Don’t got to parks or crowded malls. If you are immune-compromised and are very concerned about being exposed, then take your own precautions and don’t expose yourself. But don’t expect everyone that you come in contact with to submit to a medical procedure to protect you. That is utterly selfish.

    And the more important question to ask is this– what happens when a child DOES get vaccinated for “the Greater Good” and is injured? (Because it DOES happen. Anyone who says it doesn’t is lying.) Do they get a medal and a certificate for their sacrifice? Are they regarded as heroes, lauded and praised and held in high esteem in society? Are they recognized AT ALL? The answer would be a resounding NO!

    VAccine-injured children are thrown on the trash heap of “inconvenient truths”, their existence barely even acknowledged. Their parents are called “dangerous” and “anti-vax nut-jobs” when they try to tell their story. They find that their pediatricians (the ones who told them the vaccines were safe and effective) don’t know how to treat them and minimize their disabilities…while also being certain to maintain that it WASN’T the vaccine that injured their child…because vaccines are safe and effective….and adverse reactions are VEERRRRYYYYYY RAAAAARRRRRREEEEEE. And if you do actually make it on national TV to tell your sad story, you can expect a VENOMOUS reception as every health official in the country boos you off the stage and calls for a public flogging of the TV host who DARED to allow you to speak (See Katie Couric and her episode regarding the HPV vaccine).

    With that reality, WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD WANT THEIR CHILD TO BE THAT KIND OF MARTYR?!?!? The vaccine-injured are treated worse than those who choose not to vaccinate, their existence vehemently minimized. So, forget the inherent dangers of vaccines, you would be CRAZY to sign your children up for that sort of treatment by society.|

    Bottom line—take care of yourself. Everyone should be in charge of their own health. Expecting others (especially young children) to take medical risks for you is completely and utterly selfish.

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  16. So well said! It is every parents’ responsibility to ensure and maintain their children’s health. I certainly am not going to further injure my children, just so mothers can feel “safe” taking their newborn babies out shopping or put them in daycare. If babies are too young and are at greater risk of dying if they did get whooping cough, then KEEP YOUR BABY SAFE AT HOME UNTIL THEY ARE OLD ENOUGH to survive a disease!! It is our responsibility, not everyone else’s. I had a friend who is Greek,who practised the old tradition (which probably started long before vaccines were introduced, lowering a new baby’s immune system), which was to not take a newborn out in public, for the first 40 days of its life. Makes sense! I think even longer would be sensible, especially these days!
    Vaccine-preventable” diseases are not the only, or even major cause of child-deaths in developed countries. Thank you again for this post. It is very timely for me, and I’m sure many others too. Thank you too for pointing out the reality of many other dangers that we mindlessly expose others too, especially the nut allergies. In Australia, here about 12 years ago, a local high school student, died from anaphylaxis suddenly, after consuming a spoonful of peanut butter. He died before the ambulance got there. He knew he was allergic, but had it on a camp. He did not know how serious his allergy was.

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  17. Fantastic article!!!! It’s exactly what I tell people. Thank you for posting it!

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  18. Hi Kate, Thank you for your wonderful blog and your support in the choice of declining vaccinations. My friends and I are Homeopaths and believe that it is really vital that vaccines be a choice and not be made mandatory. There is a movement at the moment to try to make vaccines mandatory and I’d like to share the following link with the National Health Freedom Action for you and your readers to sign the petitions to uphold the right to decline vaccines:
    http://www.nationalhealthfreedom.org/nhfa/Alerts/VaxAlert_021115.html
    Many thanks for your inspiring blog, Karine

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  19. Perhaps it WON’T be mandatory, but the ways they will get you will be SO UNDERHANDED, SUCH as what I witnessed recently upon my own entrance int the hospital in NY at SUNY Downstate. I filled out the one page consent form (Other hospitals are much longer or are under electronic transfer, you get to sign a black line on a credit card like machine while the desk clerk EXPLAINS to you what you are signing for!)

    IT stated:
    By signing the is form, I consent to routine medical and dental procedures for diagnosis and treatment, including physical examination, laboratory testing, cardiac monitoring, x-rays, drawing blood,insertion of intravenous lines, lumbar puncture, the administration of medications to include **vaccines as deemed necessary. ** OK FIRST OF ALL WHO IS DEEMING ANY VACCINES NECESSARY?! YOU HAVE NO CLUE AS YET TO MY HYPOGAMMAGLOBULINEMIA, SO I TOOK THE NICE PEN AND SLASHED THROUGH THE WORD VACCINES AND WROTE IN, “I REFUSE ALL VACCINES AND IMMUNIZATIONS, WHETHER INJECTED, MIST TYPES, ETC”

    I am waiting to see if they pick up on that I changed it, the last hospital I did this at CHANGED MY DIAGNOSIS! YUP, all of a sudden I NO LONGER NEEDED ANY surgery to fix my bowel deformity or bladder prolapse and after two surgeries for prolapsed bowel and FINALLY getting to the “real S*it” pardon the pun…I “Get CANNED!”

    Oh well, you weren’t worth what I thought you were Dr…but #TRUTH will come out eventually!
    PS: Harmed via three vaccines* as an adult and most likely as a child, my Mom told me of my febrile seizures as an infant where a bottle would come up as soon as I developed a fever, in SOLID RUBBERY FORM! *Rubella Tetanus and Pneumonia .

    I NEVER had pneumonia as a kid (I am one of seven in my family, 4 boys 3 girls) yet as an adult I have had pneumonia TWELVE times, hospitalized three times in 2012 (FIVE days each time) and during thyroid cancer and left stlyoid removal in 2014 having a chest xray being over 50 it showed yet again , PNEUMONIA! This time Klebsiella type as well! At one of the ER visits where I spent five days in the hospital for an angiography induced stroke suffering left sided stroke resulting in right sided blindness, I was asked if I would ALLOW AN IMPLANT to be inserted for a heart monitor type for a study for a period of over one year, UH I am here for a stroke induced from having a camera threaded through my arteries and YOU WANT TO FURTHER PROD MY ALREADY SUFFERING BODY MORE WITH A FOREIGN OBJECT BIGGER THAN THE PLAQUE WHICH HAS ALREADY MADE IT THROUGH TO MY FINGER AND OUT?! UHG NO THANKS! and they thought I got my finger stuck in some hinge on the bed…since when are hinges patient accessible?! or was I crawling around on the floor, whcih story woudl look better in a patient report?! OH the stories I can tell you of care in hospitals in the USA…I feel REALLY BADLY for those in other countries and those who cannot speak for themselves!! NO VACCINES EVER AGAIN!

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  20. What can be done in California where vaccines are now mandatory in order to attend school (public OR private)? Only exemption allowed now is “medical exemption.” Is that hard to get?

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  21. I have to politely disagree with you, Kate. As much as I wish I could agree and believe that vaccinations would never be made mandatory… This last year saw my home state of CA require ALL CHILDREN in any publicly funded school be required to meet a STATE mandated vaccination schedule. There’s one for kindergarten entry and one for 7th grade entry. Doctor’s notes aren’t sufficient excuses for students to remain unvaccinated. Students on delayed schedules are followed and tracked by the schools and county health officials. The only exemption is for home- schooled children on PRIVATE curriculums- not through state or state- funded curriculums. I’m an RN who works in a government funded clinic so I have participated in scrubbing charts for parents to weed out what’s recommended by the CDC versus what’s required by the state- and there is a major difference (state requirements are for much less vaccinations). This is what’s happening now in California.

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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