Chris Christie did his best to avoid getting himself into a sticky wicket during a trip to London on Monday, sidestepping questions about his disagreement with President Obama on vaccination measures in the U.S. However, he did say that his own children are vaccinated.
After a sudden outbreak of the measles in 14 states, Obama warned citizens to get their children vaccinated, which was followed up by the Center for Disease Control’s agreement that there could be a serious, very large outbreak if the disease is allowed to spread.
“There is every reason to get vaccinated — there aren’t reasons to not. I just want people to know the facts and science and the information. And the fact is that a major success of our civilization is our ability to prevent disease that in the past have devastated folks. And measles is preventable,” Obama told NBC News.
Chris Christie doesn’t agree with the advice, saying that “parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well.” However, he told reporters in London that his own children have been vaccinated and that what he believes as a parent holds more importance than what he does politically.
“All I can say is that we vaccinated ours. That’s the best expression I can give you of my opinion. It’s much more important, I think, what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official. But 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.”
Christie clarified his statements while abroad after being labeled “anti-science”, saying all he meant was that not every vaccine is created equally, and should be treated as such.
“There has to be a balance and it depends on what the vaccine is, what the disease type is and all the rest. And so I didn’t say I’m leaving people the option. What I’m saying is that you have to have that balance in considering parental concerns because no parent cares about anything more than they care about protecting their own child’s health and so we have to have that conversation, but that has to move and shift in my view from disease type. Not every vaccine is created equal and not every disease type is as great a public health threat as others,” Chris Christie said.