Dr. Ben Carson, a former pediatric neurosurgeon and potential 2016 presidential contender, broke from some of his fellow Republicans on Monday by saying that strict vaccination policies should be in place, even for those who have religious or philosophical objections.
“Although I strongly believe in individual rights and the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit, I also recognize that public health and public safety are extremely important in our society,” Carson said in a statement to BuzzFeed.
The conservative was asked by BuzzFeed about his position on vaccines the same day that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) both suggested that the fringe anti-vaccination movement deserved to be taken at least a little seriously.
“Certain communicable diseases have been largely eradicated by immunization policies in this country and we should not allow those diseases to return by foregoing safe immunization programs, for philosophical, religious, or other reasons when we have the means to eradicate them,” Carson told the website.
He added that there are sometimes “exceptional situations” that would need to be addressed.