Scott Walker: States Should Decide Whether Vaccinations Are Mandatory

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February 5, 2015 12:56 p.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) supports vaccinations for children but also said that individual states should decide whether vaccinations should be mandatory.

Walker’s comments on vaccinations on Wednesday are some of the latest in an ongoing public discussion among some potential Republican 2016 presidential candidates on vaccinations. Some of those contenders made comments that seemed to support parents who oppose vaccinating their kids, despite a major measles outbreak in the U.S.

“My wife and I send out a card to all newborns, in conjunction with Hallmark, to encourage people to get vaccinated,” Walker said on Wednesday according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Walker’s office previously told TPM that he believed “vaccinations help prevent serious health problems.”

But Walker doesn’t necessarily think vaccines should be mandatory.

“I think it’s an issue that should be left up to the states, just like we’re doing here” in Wisconsin, he said.

The Journal-Sentinel pointed out that could mean some states could make vaccinations totally optional.

“It’s up to the states, and all the states right now have a rule,” Walker said. “The only difference is, state by state, some have no leeway, some have some flexibility. But everybody has a law on the books.”

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