Tags: White House | vaccinations | measles | irresponsible

Failing to Vaccinate Kids Called Irresponsible by White House

Tuesday, 03 Feb 2015 04:57 PM

The Obama administration said it would be irresponsible for parents not to vaccinate kids, and that new legislation isn’t needed to force compliance.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest made the comments as a U.S. measles outbreak has spread to more than 100 people and potential Republican presidential candidates discussed whether vaccinations should be required.

“The president believes it shouldn’t require a law for people to exercise common sense and do the right thing,” Earnest said at a Tuesday briefing that was dominated by the topic. “It is irresponsible for people not to get their children vaccinated.”

The outbreak, centered in California and fueled by an increase in the number of unvaccinated children, has led to a political debate among potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates.

Two possible candidates, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Senator Rand Paul, of Kentucky, said in separate forums this week that vaccinations should be a matter of choice for parents. Paul, in a CNBC interview, said that while he thought vaccines generally are a good idea, he’d heard of cases of “children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.”

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, another potential Republican candidate, said there is “a lot of fear-mongering out there” on vaccinations. He took an indirect shot at Christie and Paul.

“It is irresponsible for leaders to undermine the public’s confidence in vaccinations that have been tested and proven to protect public health,” Jindal said in a statement.

The debate prompted other office-holders to weigh in as well.

“I don’t know that we need another law, but I do believe that all children ought to be vaccinated,” House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, today told reporters in Washington.

In January, 102 measles cases in 14 states were reported in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of those were related to an outbreak at Disneyland in California, the CDC said.

That was nearly one fifth of the 644 U.S. measles cases reported in 2014, which was a record number in the country since measles was deemed eliminated in the U.S. in 2000.

While most states permit religious exemptions from vaccine requirements, 19 states also allow philosophical exemptions, including Arizona and California, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Public health officials have been pushing against a belief among some parents, backed by a discredited study, that vaccines can cause autism.

A Pew Research Center report released Jan. 29 found that while a majority of Americans, 68 percent, support requiring vaccinations for children. It also found that adults younger than 50 were more likely than older people to say vaccinations are a matter of parental choice.

The poll, conducted Aug. 15-25, also found partisan differences. Seventy-one percent of self-identified Democrats said vaccinations should be required while 65 percent of Republicans held that view.

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The Obama administration said it would be irresponsible for parents not to vaccinate kids, and that new legislation isn't needed to force compliance.White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest made the comments as a U.S. measles outbreak has spread to more than 100 people and...
White House, vaccinations, measles, irresponsible
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2015-57-03
Tuesday, 03 Feb 2015 04:57 PM
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