Rand Paul: Most vaccines should be voluntary

by Peter Sullivan  |  published on February 3, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Monday said most vaccines should be “voluntary,” as he waded into the politically charged debate over the outbreak of measles in 14 states.

Paul was asked to weigh in on vaccines, after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), a likely rival for the GOP nomination in 2016, said Monday morning that there should be “some measure of choice” for parents leery of vaccinating their children.

“I’m not anti-vaccine at all, but most of them ought to be voluntary,” Paul, an ophthalmologist, said Monday on the “Laura Ingraham Show,” in a segment circulated by the Democratic National Committee along with criticism of Paul’s views.

Paul added a shot at potential presidential primary rival former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who made an HPV vaccine mandatory in his state before later calling it a “mistake.”

“I think there are times where there can be some rules, but for the most part it ought to be voluntary and the biggest one is — I don’t know if you remember when Governor Perry made it mandatory to get, for a sexually transmitted disease, to have everybody have to take it,” Paul said. “While I think it’s a good idea to take the vaccine, I think that’s a personal decision for individuals to take and when they take it.”

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