Chris Christie on Vaccines: Parents Should Have 'Choice'

While President Obama says, 'get your kids vaccinated'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2015 9:14 AM CST
Chris Christie on Vaccines: We Need 'Balance'
In this Jan. 24, 2015, photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Chris Christie is in the UK—technically on a trade mission for New Jersey, but most are looking at the trip as a precursor to his seemingly inevitable presidential campaign—and today in England he was asked about vaccinations in light of the US measles outbreak. "We vaccinate ours [kids], and so, you know that's the best expression I can give you of my opinion," the governor said, according to NBC News. "You know, it's much more important what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official. And that's what we do. But I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that's the balance that the government has to decide."

He was at MedImmune at the time, a company that makes vaccines and has trade ties to New Jersey, and was then asked if he thinks vaccines are dangerous. "I didn't say that," he said. "I said different disease types can be more lethal, so that the concern would be measuring whatever the perceived danger is by a vaccine, and we've had plenty of that over a period of time versus what the risk to public health is. And that's exactly what I mean by what I said." President Obama took a firmer stance in an interview with NBC airing today on Today, the AP reports: He said that while he understands the concerns, the science on vaccines is "pretty indisputable" and that those who remain unvaccinated by choice are a danger to babies and others who can't be vaccinated. "Get your kids vaccinated," he said. (More measles stories.)

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