Yes, Chris Christie, “˜Not Every Vaccine Is Created Equal.’ Get Them Anyway.

When a vaccine is ineffective, it’s even more important for everyone to have it.

National Journal
Brian Resnick
Add to Briefcase
Brian Resnick
Feb. 2, 2015, 7:52 a.m.

With pres­id­en­tial primary sea­son loom­ing, New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie is fi­nally voicing his opin­ion on na­tion­al is­sues. And out of the gate, he’s stir­ring up con­tro­versy. Monday morn­ing, Christie said that while he be­lieves vac­cin­a­tion is a pub­lic good, par­ents should have a de­gree of choice in the mat­ter. The Wash­ing­ton Post quoted him say­ing, “Not every vac­cine is cre­ated equal, and not every dis­ease type is as great a pub­lic health threat as oth­ers.” These com­ments come just a day after Pres­id­ent Obama urged all par­ents to “get your kids vac­cin­ated,” in light of the re­cent measles out­break in Cali­for­nia.

Christie’s of­fice did cla­ri­fy his po­s­i­tion. “There is no ques­tion kids should be vac­cin­ated,” a state­ment read. But his thoughts on policy are vague. He calls for “a meas­ure of choice,” and “bal­ance” over which vac­cines the gov­ern­ment should man­date. Yes, it would be prob­ably be weird pub­lic policy if the U.S. gov­ern­ment took a to­tal­it­ari­an ap­proach: bar­ging in­to homes with nurses and syr­inges. There are some le­git­im­ate reas­ons not to vac­cin­ate a child. Al­ler­gic re­ac­tions can hap­pen. There are tricky vac­cin­a­tion de­cisions to make for chil­dren born with HIV. But for the vast, vast ma­jor­ity of chil­dren, vac­cines are safe, and they should stay to the pre­scribed sched­ule.

If Christie is ad­voc­at­ing for the par­ent­al right to choose vac­cin­a­tions à la carte (it isn’t clear if he is) based on how ef­fect­ive the vac­cines are and how dan­ger­ous the dis­eases are, his think­ing is curi­ous. Look no fur­ther than the mumps and the flu.

The mumps vac­cine — in­cluded in the MMR shot that also in­ocu­lates for measles and ru­bella — is not that great. De­pend­ing on how many doses a per­son gets, the mumps vac­cine is about 80 to 90 per­cent ef­fect­ive. Mean­ing that out of 100 people with the shot, about 20 still might be able to get the mumps.

But more people with the vac­cine means few­er op­por­tun­it­ies for those 20 people to be­come in­fec­ted. It’s called herd im­munity: Hav­ing more people in a com­munity with the mumps vac­cine makes every in­di­vidu­al’s dose of the vac­cine, in ef­fect, stronger. For mumps, doc­tors say between 88 and 92 per­cent of people in a group need to have the vac­cine to keep the dis­ease from spread­ing.

And con­sider the flu, a dis­ease that most healthy kids can ride out just fine. It’s really im­port­ant for chil­dren to get the flu shot. Be­cause kids are gross. Chil­dren most read­ily pass the flu on to oth­ers, in­clud­ing the eld­erly, who of­ten don’t ride out the dis­ease just fine. The journ­al Vac­cine finds that the op­tim­al way to mit­ig­ate a flu sea­son is to pri­or­it­ize kids.

So yes, Gov­ernor, not all vac­cines are cre­ated equal. And neither are dis­eases. But wheth­er those facts should factor in­to a vac­cin­a­tion de­cision … well, it’s a lot more com­plic­ated than that.

What We're Following See More »
COULD COME UNDER MUELLER’S SCRUTINY
Deutsche Bank Gave Kushner a $285 Million Loan in October
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"One month before Election Day, Jared Kushner’s real estate company finalized a $285 million loan as part of a refinancing package for its property near Times Square in Manhattan. The loan came at a critical moment. Kushner was playing a key role in the presidential campaign of his father-in-law, Donald Trump. The lender, Deutsche Bank, was negotiating to settle a federal mortgage fraud case and charges from New York state regulators that it aided a possible Russian money-laundering scheme."

Source:
WANTS ANSWERS ON CLINTON EMAIL PROBE
Senate Judiciary Sends Questions to Loretta Lynch
2 days ago
THE LATEST
ARE “OPEN TO NEGOTIATION”
Sens. Paul, Cruz, Johnson and Lee Oppose Senate Health Care Bill
3 days ago
THE LATEST

The four Senators released a joint statement, saying in part, "There are provisions in this draft that repreesnt an improvement to our current health care system, but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs."

Source:
TRUMP SUGGESTED THERE WERE TAPES
No Comey Tapes
3 days ago
THE LATEST

Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon, "With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings."

Source:
DEVELOPING
Senate Healthcare Bill In Trouble?
3 days ago
BREAKING
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login