Politics

NJ Gov. Chris Christie Says Parents Should Have 'Some Measure Of Choice' On Vaccinations

| by Michael Allen
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Amid reports of more measles cases in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned of a nationwide outbreak.

The California Department of Public Health confirmed 91 measles cases in the state as of Jan 30, of which 58 have been linked to Disneyland in Anaheim.

Utah, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Nebraska and Arizona have measles cases that are linked to “patient zero” who started the outbreak at Disneyland, noted Associated Press.

CDC Director Tom Frieden warned of a "large outbreak" of measles in the U.S. on a Feb. 1 broadcast of CBS show "Face the Nation," notes The Hill.

"What we’ve seen is, as over the last few years, a small but growing number of people, have not been vaccinated," said Frieden. "That number is building up among young adults in society, and that makes us vulnerable."

President Barack Obama urged parents to get their children vaccinated, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, told reporters in Cambridge, England, on Jan. 2 that parents should have "some measure of choice" when it comes to vaccinations, noted The Washington Post.

“Mary Pat and I have had our children vaccinated and we think that it’s an important part of being sure we protect their health and the public health,” said Christie. “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.”

“There has to be a balance and it depends on what the vaccine is, what the disease type is, and all the rest,” added Christie. “Not every vaccine is created equal and not every disease type is as great a public health threat as others.”

Christie, a possible candidate to run for president in 2016, is on a three-day tour of the U.K. to promote trade between New Jersey businesses and and the U.K.

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ABC News notes Christie's office has now released a statement: "The Governor believes vaccines are an important public health protection and with a disease like measles there is no question kids should be vaccinated. At the same time different states require different degrees of vaccination, which is why he was calling for balance in which ones government should mandate."

Sources: ABC News, Associated Press, The Hill, The Washington Post Image Credit: Pete Souza/White House via Wikimedia Commons