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Republican leaders scramble to clarify positions on vaccination

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h692 (Published 05 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h692
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Republican leaders scrambled this week to clarify their positions on vaccination after two of their party’s potential US presidential contenders made statements that seemed to support the position that vaccination should be voluntary.

First, New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie, who was traveling in the United Kingdom on a trade mission, said on Monday 2 February that although he had had his children vaccinated, “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 comment, coming amid a measles outbreak in the US that has grown to more than 100 cases,1 caused a stir. Health officials blame the outbreak on the large …

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