President Barack Obama said Sunday that the science on vaccinations is “indisputable” and urged parents to vaccinate their children, as officials tried to contain one of the worst measles outbreaks in years.
In an interview set to air Monday morning on NBC’s “Today,” Obama told Savannah Guthrie that he wants families to consider the science backing immunizations.
“I understand that there are families that, in some cases, are concerned about the effect of vaccinations,” he said, according to excerpts of the interview released Sunday. “The science is, you know, pretty indisputable. We’ve looked at this again and again. There is every reason to get vaccinated, but there aren’t reasons to not.”
At least 100 people have come down with measles since an outbreak started in December at California’s Disneyland park, public health officials said Friday.
Measles were virtually eradicated in the U.S. by 2000 but have reappeared in recent years. The virus’ re-emergence coincided with a rise in parents seeking personal belief exemptions from vaccinating their children, or delaying their children’s vaccinations because of a debunked study linking vaccines to autism.
“You should get your kids vaccinated,” Obama told Guthrie. “It’s good for them and the challenge you have is if you have a certain group of kids who don’t get vaccinated, and if it grows large enough that a percentage of the population doesn’t get vaccinated and they’re the folks who can’t get vaccinated, small infants, for example, or people with certain vulnerabilities that can’t vaccinated, they suddenly become much more vulnerable.”
This post has been updated.