The top doctor at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that parents who fail to have their children inoculated against diseases such as measles could be endangering their and others' lives, The Hill
"Not vaccinating your child has implications not only for your family but families around you," said Tom Frieden.
Parents who do not to vaccinate their children
against chickenpox, diphtheria, polio, and other childhood diseases like mumps, measles, and rubella place them at risk, say physicians.
The notion that there is a connection between autism and vaccinations has been discredited, Frieden said, adding that the science on vaccines is "very clear" that "there are no long-term adverse consequences," the Hill reported.
President Barack Obama said that while he understands some families are "concerned about the effect of vaccinations," it was scientifically "indisputable" that "there is every reason to get vaccinated" and no reason not to, the Hill reported.
Hillary Clinton tweeted
: "The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and #vaccineswork. Let's protect all our kids," CBS reported.
Some Republican presidential candidates appear to favor "voluntary" immunization.
Libertarian-leaning Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who trained as an ophthalmologist, told CNBC
that the issue was freedom. "The state doesn't own your children. Parents own the children."
Paul's own children have been immunized on a schedule that was spaced out. "While I think it's a good idea to take the vaccine, I think that's a personal decision for individuals to take and when they take it," he said on the "Laura Ingraham Show," according to the Hill.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said parents "need to have some measure of choice" about whether to vaccinate their children. His own children have been inoculated, he said, and he later qualified his earlier statement by adding that he considered immunization "an important part of being sure we protect their health and the public health," The Washington Post
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry also appears to fall in the voluntary camp, according to the Huffington Post.
Less equivocal was Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who made it clear that he has no problem with immunization. "Study after study has shown that there are no negative long-term consequences," he told ABC News
"And the more kids who are not vaccinated, the more they're at risk and the more they put their neighbors' kids at risk as well," The New York Times
reported Walker saying.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee similarly agreed that the link between autism and vaccines has been debunked and recalled that as governor he encouraged Arkansans to get vaccinated, according to the Times.
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