The messsage from the president is clear: get your kids vaccinated. Citing the recent preventable measles outbreaks, President Barack Obama is encouraging parents to “know the facts and the science" and get their kids vaccinated.
In an interview with NBC News, President Obama explained he didn't want people to be scared of getting vaccines, especially with the recent outbreak of measles.
“You should get your kids vaccinated,” he said. “It's good for them, but we should be able to get to the point where measles effectively is not existing in this country.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded more than 100 cases of measles in 14 states, stemming from an outbreak at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Many kids have been vulnerable to catching the viral infection.
“And the fact is that, a major success of our civilization has the ability to prevent diseases that in the past have devastated folks,” he said. "And measles is preventable. And I understand that there are families that, in some cases, are concerned about the effect of vaccinations. The science is, you know, pretty indisputable. We’ve looked at this again and again. There is every reason to get vaccinated, but there aren’t reasons to not.”
Some people have been leading an anti-vaccine movement associating vaccination with autism. Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a British doctor, joined Jenny McCarthy, Katie Couric and Michele Bachmann in the fight against vaccines. This movement continues despite the fact that the study linking vaccination to autism has been discredited. In fact, the study has been deemed an "elaborate fraud" which continues to damage public health.
As President Obama notes, getting your child vaccinated is not just about keeping them healthy - it's also about keeping all the other children healthy, too.
“It's good for them and the challenge you have is if you have a certain group of kids who don't get vaccinated, and if it grows large enough that a percentage of the population doesn't get vaccinated and they're the folks who can't get vaccinated, small infants, for example, or people with certain vulnerabilities that can't vaccinated, they suddenly become much more vulnerable,” Obama said.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden warned that the current measles outbreak could result in a “very large” outbreak if the problem is not stabilized.
The president noted that both of his daughters, Sasha and Malia, have been vaccinated.