The decision to vaccinate is a hot topic among parents in the U.S. as of late — we’re facing what may be the largest measles outbreak in 20 years and the numbers of infected are climbing. And those numbers mean something given the measles vaccine was common for children after the 1960s and led to the near eradication of the disease in America.
In short, we’ve literally brought back a disease that was nearly non-existent in this part of the world due to anti-vaccinations.
But as of January, 120 cases later, not only has the disease reemerged to dismantle the resistance a questionable study helped build when it linked vaccines to autism, vaccination has come to the front line of issues politicians are picking up.
It’s a slippery slope. Picking a side could mean aiding in life or death, and that’s no exaggeration. Political fodder or personal beliefs, it’s too early to tell, but here are a list of politicians who have chosen their sides.
Republican Gov. of New Jersey Chris 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. But I can just tell people from our perspective, Mary Pat and I have had our children vaccinated and we think it’s an important part of making sure we protect their health and the public health.”
President Barack Obama
“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. You should get your kids vaccinated. 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 … they suddenly become much more vulnerable.”
Rand Paul (R-Ky)
“I’m not anti-vaccine at all but…most of them ought to be voluntary. I think there are times in which there can be some rules, but for the most part it ought to be voluntary.”
John Boehner (R-Ohio)
“I don’t know that we need another law, but I do believe that all children ought to be vaccinated.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R)
“As a victim of polio myself I’m a big fan of vaccinations and if I were a parent who had a child … being subject to getting any particular disease, I would come down on the side of vaccinations.”