Recently, New Jersey governor Chris Christie made comments about vaccinations while on a trip to England.
“Mary Pat and I have had our children vaccinated and we think that it’s an important part of being sure we protect their health and the public health,” Christie told reporters in England Monday. The likely Republican presidential candidate added: “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.”
The comments came after a laboratory tour at MedImmune, a biologics company that makes vaccines in Cambridge. Christie is on a three-day tour of Britain designed to promote trade with New Jersey businesses and round out his foreign policy resume ahead of a likely 2016 run for the White House.
While important, it is the view of the website OK, Fine that vaccine-gate is not as important for Christie as the investigations into purposely causing a multi-day traffic jam in the town of a mayor he didn’t like, misuse of Hurricane Sandy relief aid, and improper use of bondholders’ funds by the Port Authority.
According to the Times-Herald News, it was a position he’s taken on vaccines before, but one that drew a new level of attention amid a U.S. measles outbreak and his recent moves toward running for president.
The political significance of Christie’s remarks was amplified by his office a short time later, when it released a statement saying the governor believes “with a disease like measles there is no question kids should be vaccinated.”
Christie’s stumble into the vaccine issue came as a measles outbreak centered in California has sickened more than 100 people in several states and Mexico, putting a new spotlight on parents who choose not to vaccinate their children.
Some do so for religious or philosophical reasons, while others cite a concern that vaccines can lead to autism and developmental disorders — a link debunked by rigorous medical research.