Christie’s Office Does Damage Control On Vaccine Remarks

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) office did some damage control on Monday after Christie said the government should strike a “balance” between requiring parents to immunize their children and allowing them “some measure of choice” on vaccinations.

“To be clear: The Governor believes vaccines are an important public health protection and with a disease like measles there is no question kids should be vaccinated,” Christie’s office said in a statement. “At the same time, different states require different degrees of vaccination, which is why he was calling for balance in which one’s government should mandate.”

The comments came as health officials try to contain a measles outbreak in the western United States that is believed to have started at California’s Disneyland park.

Christie’s office furnished a full transcript of the governor’s remarks at the London facility of American company MedImmune, which manufactures a flu vaccine, that went beyond his remarks reported by the New York Times.

“It’s more important what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official,” Christie said, as quoted by the Times. “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 newspaper reported that the governor added “not every vaccine is created equal, and not every disease type is as great a public health threat as others.”

According to the transcript released by his office, Christie was also asked whether he was leaving people the option not to get vaccinated.

“Michael, what I said was that there has to be a balance and it depends on what the vaccine is, what the disease type is and all the rest,” Christie said. “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. So that’s what I mean by that so that I’m not misunderstood.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: